Mandurah’s K9 Rescue Group has warned of the danger social media poses when it comes to rehoming or locating missing dogs.
K9’s Janine Matthews said while social media can help with finding a pet, it’s not first or only avenue people should go down.
“While social media is good, there is the other side of it which is the distressing side, is that somebody will find a dog and they put it on Facebook and people will say: 'Isn't it cute. If you can't find an owner, I'll take it' and that's the sort of thing where you need to call the ranger or take it to the vet to have the microchip checked,” she said.
“You have other avenues which people should pursue first, before heading to social media.
“It's about being a responsible owner and keeping everything up to date in terms of your details and being a responsible community member by checking for those details.”
Ms Matthews said people should also avoid buying, selling or rehoming dogs on social media because there is an element of the unknown.
It’s a stance which was also held by another Australian animal shelter Happy Tails Animal Rescue, when a six-month-old Queensland puppy was found with facial injuries after it was rehomed on social media.
It is believed the rottweiler/staffy cross had been used as bait to train fighting dogs.
“You shouldn't buy or sell dogs on Gumtree or those sort of places because you don't know who it is your dealing with,” Ms Matthews said.
“You don't know who will buy the dogs because we know there is the underground dog fighting which still goes on – even though it's not supposed to – and you may be buying a dog which is really aggressive even if they say it's fine.
“It may not be dog social and may take out little ones or cats or other things in the household.”
Can you help Kodie?
The team at K9 Rescue Group is desperately looking for a home for one of their long-timers, Kodie.
For the past 702 days, the six-year-old Wolfhound-cross has called the Nambeelup shelter home and she’s starting to get “cabin fever”.
"She needs owners who are home a lot and are strong and confident with the breed because you need to know wolfhounds to have one," Ms Matthews said.
"She also needs positive guidance and leadership.
"She's also dog reactive so she needs to go to home with no other pets.
"But she's a big teddy bear though and she really just needs someone who is patient and can teach her some more manners."