In announcing the 300th pet milestone, co-founders Shelley Heistand and Judy Charuhas said the community focus of their website attributes greatly to its success. “If you lose a pet in Winter Park, it is likely that it will be found or seen by someone in Winter Park,” said Ms Heistand who is the website’s principal sponsor. “By keeping our focus 100% local, we are able to reunite more pets.”
Other communities wishing to implement a lost/found pet website of their own now have the option of purchasing the WinterParkLostPets.com website template. “We’ve been tweaking our website for more than two years, adding features, and the template is truly ‘plug and play,’" says Ms Charuhas who administers the WinterParkLostPets.com website.
The template includes an online photo listing of lost and found pets, an option for producing a printable custom flyer of a lost/found pet, tabs for listing community resources such as veterinarians, an events calendar, checklists for what pet owners can do if their pet is missing and what citizens can do if they find a wandering pet, and much more.
Also included is the ability to send e-mail alerts when pets are lost or when stray pets are found. Residents of the community can sign up at the website to receive these e-mail alerts. “A significant amount of custom programming was involved in creating this template,” says Ms Charuhas.
The first community to adopt the template was Waterford Lakes in east Orlando. “We are hoping more towns and communities will adopt the template. We have received interest from as far away as Scotland,” says Ms Charuhas.
Ms Heistand added, “As always, we’d like to use this occasion to remind pets owners to microchip their cats and dogs and to keep the registration information up-to-date. A microchip is single greatest measure you can take to help ensure that if your pet becomes lost, it will be reunited with you. If you find a wandering pet, any vet will scan it at no charge to see if it is microchipped. Emergency vets open after normal business hours will also scan for microchips. WinterParkLostPets.com lists ER vets serving metro Orlando.”
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www.WinterParkLostPets.com is a free public service for posting lost and found pets in Winter Park, Florida. Founded in 2009 and voted “Best Lost/Found Pet Website” by dogster.com, the website has helped 300 pets find their way home. The website’s award-winning template is now available to other communities. For information on purchasing the template, e-mail Judy Charuhas at: firstname.lastname@example.org.