A new Facebook page is helping reunite owners with their pets in Stratford.

Stratford District Council has recently started up an Animal Control Facebook page which is helping roaming dogs find their way home.

Kieran Best, Stratford District Council animal control officer, says the council doesn't get many dogs in the pound overall, but it's great to be able to let people know if a dog has been picked up.

"We usually get wandering dogs from thunderstorms and fireworks. We don't want dogs in the pound when they have a loving home they should be in."

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Kieran says it is a great way to reunite owners with their dogs.

"We're giving it a go to see if we can return more dogs to their owners, quicker than before."

Alicia Cameron, communications officer at Stratford District Council, says the Facebook page opens up different ways of communication with people.

"It gives the peace of mind that the dog has been picked up. Social media has a more immediate result. If someone loses a dog they will be able to get quicker results."

The Animal Control Facebook page has a "contact us" area, with the correct number to call to report a roaming dog or to ask about a dog they've lost, regardless of time of day.

When a dog is picked up and taken to the pound, a post goes online meaning people can quickly see if their dog has been picked up.

"It is more proactive and reactive. It has its own channel so it has more priority. We're using social media as a new channel to communicate information. We're here to help, we're all dog people."

The idea of an Animal Control page had been under discussion for a while at council, says Alicia.

"Other councils have a page. It seemed like a good idea which we could use as well."

The page has already rehomed a male Pomeranian/shih tzu cross and has found the owner of a female staffy.

"The page already has 300 followers and there have been lots of shares. It has been really positive," Alicia says.

Kieran says there have been times in the past where things could have been handled more quickly.

"Social media has a wide reach. It makes the process easier for dog owners and gets the message out to the public. From the owners' point of view it makes the process easier. It is stressful for owners to lose dogs and this helps us alleviate some of that stress for people."