When Social Media United a Community

When one of ABC Accounting Services employees dog went missing a chain of events took place that amazed everyone involved to this day. I would probably go as far to say that they bring a tear the eye of everyone who felt the anguish the dog’s owners went through while their little westipoo was out in the dark on its own.

Ollie went missing on Friday 20th Dec 2013 so as we approach the anniversary of that date we felt a post about the power of social media, festive and community spirit and dogged determination was appropriate.

Dana, who works for ABC is Ollie (the dogs) owner. Her partner was involved in car accident on the dual carriageway just up from Corringham Road Industrial Estate (Where ABC is located) on the 20th Dec. Belinda, the boss of ABC, went to the scene to check that everyone was OK…I will let Dana tell the rest of the story in her own words!

“Belinda shot back to the office where she posted it all over Facebook / Twitter etc.

At about 9pm when I came back from hospital there were so many people out looking for the dog it was crazy… people were climbing in ditches, through muddy fields looking for him. Even strangers were asking me if I’d seen Ollie the black westipoo.

Saturday we all went out searching again. There had been a sighting of him on a farm just off of dual carriageway, we had clients searching with us… we were all up to our knees in mud searching this farm.

Belinda’s Facebook post had reached so many people that a page was even set up (by someone I don’t know) “Help find missing westipoo Ollie” which is now called “Lost & found pets in and around Gainsborough” and is still used for other missing animals to this day.

We posted on Facebook that we had someone from the Dog lost charity meeting us on the Sunday & were going to do a search through 3 different routes. At 9.30am on Sunday morning we met at the layby near Lincs Otter… I can’t tell you how many people were there – all I can tell you is I looked up and burst into tears as I was so overwhelmed by how many people were there – a lot of them strangers to me.

We finally found him at lunch time on the Sunday after he had been missing for one day and a half and two nights. Those were the longest nights of my life thinking of him out there all on his own. He trotted up like there was nothing wrong with him. He stuffed his face with bacon, sausages & treats that all the searchers had brought to entice him out of his hiding place. Everybody else around me was in floods of tears but I was stood there smiling and not crying! I had probably spent all the tears and I finally had my boy back.

The story on Facebook was seen by people at BBC Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire Echo. On Monday 23rd Dec the famous Ollie came to the ABC offices to be interviewed (well I was) and pictured by Lincolnshire Echo! The write up went in the Boxing day issue.

BBC Lincolnshire did a telephone interview that was aired & they also did a website write up on the local page which had that many hits it bumped up to the national page! All because of Facebook & Community Xmas spirit. I don’t think that story will ever fail to make me smile and cry the odd tear of joy at what was the perfect ending to a very traumatic experience.

ABC and Belinda are very social media savvy and without that quick thinking and perseverance I honestly don’t know what the outcome could have been. So to everyone that helped on the day, for everyone that shared the posts and kept the story viral, for the supportive team at ABC, my loving and quite possibly invincible family, my man, and the festive spirit that mobilised a large part of Gainsborough Town – Thank you – from the bottom of my heart. You were all truly amazing and Ollie thanks you from the bottom of his little heart too!

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