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Lewisboro Uses Web to Reunite Lost Dogs With Owner

The town of Lewisboro is taking advantage of modern technology to reunite lost dogs with their owners.

Utilizing things such as e-mail blasts and social networking sites such as Facebook, the town is finding greater success in helping wayward pets to find their way back home.

“We get about 20 to 25 strays dogs a year,” said Kathleen Cory, Lewisboro town clerk. “We used to give them to the SPCA. But due to budget cutbacks, we had to drop it.”

Now, when the dog warden finds a stray, it’s brought to the South Salem Animal Hospital where the town is obligated by law to keep it for at least seven days. If it has a license, the town can track down the owner fairly quickly.

“We try to get it back to them before too many charges are filed and the fees get too high,” Cory said.

If the dog is of a particular breed, officials can run a check for that particular breed that are licensed in the area. If that fails, the town turns to the Internet.

On the Friday before a board meeting, the dogs are photographed and, along with other information, the pictures are sent out to citizens via an e-mail blast to see if anyone might recognize the stray pooch. The system also incorporates Facebook members into the search.

“We’ve gotten a good response; people seem to like these,” Cory said. “We have some fun with it.”

The new system doesn’t only help dogs, but other animals as well.

“We actually had a stray sheep once,” Cory said with a laugh. “Technically we don’t do sheep, so we called it a ‘sheep dog.’ We sent out an e-mail blast and someone took the initiative to put it on Facebook and we were able to find the owner.”

If the Internet doesn’t help the town reconnect the dog and owners, Cory said the town works hard to find someone willing to adopt it.

“But the [e-mail blast] system does help,” she said. “It just makes sense to use whatever technology there is at our disposal.”

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