Social media helped match pets with owners

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WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Dozens of animals were displaced or abandoned after the tornado in West Liberty.

One veterinarian tells us all of those animals have either been reunited with their owners or were put in new homes.

Most who come through the doors of the West Liberty Veterinary Clinic are animal lovers.

“They are just like your kids,” said Morgan County pet parent Henrietta Roberts.
“You care for them more than you do yourselves.”

Pet parents said when their "babies" are gone for any amount of time, they notice.

“I couldn't get caught up in anything, I was just waiting on them to let me know she was okay,” said Roberts, as she referred to her pooch, Pooh.

When a tornado devastated their town nearly seven months ago, one vet tried a new approach to reunite the "lost and found."

“A lot of people don't really think about the fact that when something like that happens, animals are displaced as well as everybody else,” said Roberts.

Dr. David Fugate said around 60 dogs and 20 cats were abandoned by no fault of their own during the tornado. He said a significant portion of those were reunited with their owners through Facebook.

“I don't think a lot of them thought their pets were alive until they saw that picture on Facebook,” said Fugate.
“A lot of times it would be a friend of theirs who sent them a message and said hey we saw Charlie on the vet clinic's website.”

He said that is what makes his job worthwhile.

“It was humbling to see folks show up that did not have anything anymore, everything was gone, their home, their clothes, their possessions,” said Fugate.
“And to see them so happy about reuniting with their dog or their cat, it gives me chills talking about it.”

He said social networking also worked for man's best friend.

“Without that I don't know that we would have ever reunited as many as we did,” Fugate said.

An animal shelter volunteer said PetSmart charities helped find homes for many of the pets who were displaced.