When hanging up posters, pestering friends and family, and going door-to-door won’t cut it for finding a missing feline friend, try Facebook instead. The social network helped one man, James Woodley, find his lost cat faster than traditional methods. All it took was a page, a few paid ads and a status update on Facebook to reunite cat and owner.
After having exhausted all other routes to finding his Ragdoll cat, Zion, Woodley turned to Facebook. On August 30, three days after his cat had gone missing, Woodley set up a Page called “Missing Ragdoll Cat – Zion” and spread the word among Facebook friends and those living near his area, Chelmsford, just outside of London, using targeted ads. The Page read:
“Zion is a large, long haired Ragdoll with ginger markings, Blue Eyes, wearing a Blue Collar with contact details. Zion is also chipped.Last seen: 28th Aug …Zion went missing from Chinery Close in Chelmsford Essex on 28th August 2012. He is a lovely cat, very inquisitive and loves every nook and cranny, check your garages or sheds for him! He’s microchipped and has a collar with my number on, so call me any time if you find him!”
The microchip technology is a tiny implant made under the skin of the pet with important information encoded into it. If a lost pet is found by someone other than the owner, the microchip can be detected with a special scanner which brings up the pet’s name and address, allowing for a prompt return to its home.
But all it took was 30 minutes for the first tip to come in–and it paid off. A woman thought she had seen his cat a few days prior. She sent Woodley her contact information via Facebook message, and when he got in touch with her she gave him further details; she had seen Zion get hit by a car and run into the woods nearby. Woodley immediately went in search of his cat in these woods and found him down in a ravine. The cat needed a visit to the vet, but was otherwise unharmed. Now the cat is safe and sound, back at home where he belongs.
The Facebook ads cost him $18 in total, but the results speak for themselves. It was a small price to pay for the safe return of a beloved pet.
Woodley was quoted as saying, “This was just advertising a local event, for a guy missing his cat, that targeted a very specific audience in a very localized area. If you’re a big company, imagine creating highly targeted ads like that that hit millions of people in ways that relate to them. It’s incredibly powerful.”
People in similar circumstances would do well to follow Woodley’s example and make use of all resources available to them, including Facebook (as well as other online social networks). A lead can turn up in the unlikeliest of places.
Word Count: 490; bhive.ca
October 9, 2012: http://bhive.ca/5.0/blog/221-facebook-feline-reunion.html