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Facebook group helps find nearly 10,000 missing dogs a year throughout King County

The Lost Dogs of King County Facebook group has nearly 34,000 members.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A Facebook group dedicated to reuniting lost dogs with their owners is making an impact in King County, with help from its nearly 34,000 members.

"I'll do everything possible so they'll never go missing," Facebook group moderator Lily Burns said. She said she hopes the same goes for other dogs throughout King County.

Burns was with her favorite girls, her two dogs, at a park in Redmond on Wednesday.

"I mean, these are my babies and I hope that most of the people that post on the page, feel the same about their dogs," said Burns.

The Facebook group, Lost Dogs of King County was started back in 2014 by James Branson, the founder of Useless Bay Sanctuary, a non-profit that specializes in finding lost dogs.

Burns said with Branson's vast knowledge on rescuing pets, the group wanted to spread their knowledge to the community with tips on preventing dogs from getting lost.

Tips include having your dog wear a martingale collar and ID tag, using two leashes for high risk dogs, taking a lot of pictures of your dog to potentially post if they get lost, getting a microchip implanted in your dog among other preventative measures.  

The group also has tips on what to do if a dog is currently lost. Some of those tips include:

  • Enlist help
  • Print fliers
  • Mark the rear window of a car
  • Ask the neighbors
  • Create large neon posters
  • Check the shelters
  • Consider an automated calling service
  • Use Calming Signal
  • Try using a friendly dog as a lure
  • Use a wildlife camera
  • Set a trap

Burns has been a moderator of the group since 2019 and has made a real impact, monitoring the page nearly 100 hours per week.

"Lost Dog in King County helps reunite approximately 10,000 dogs a year and we have people from all over King County, sometimes outside of King County posting on our page asking for help," she said.

Burns doesn’t want to take all the credit. She is adamant that it’s a team effort and is grateful for Branson for creating the group and the other moderators on the page as well as the nearly 34,000 members that have help reunite families. 

Despite the success, Burns is still working to find those dogs that are still trying to get back home.  

"I still have hope that those dogs are going to make it home, and I help keep the post active and if that day were to come, I will cry so many tears,” Burns said.

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