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Social media boosts Humane Society’s pet adoptions

Pet Brigade in joint venture on JBLM

Facility Manager Rhianna Lake calms Jess, an Iraqi rescue dog at the Pet Brigade Oct. 4, 2011. The Pet Brigade, public private venture, is the only private kennel on the installation that provides pet day care and adoptions. Photo by Jim Bryant/JBLM PAO

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Pet adoptions can have benefits beyond just a new friend arriving to share the house.

The Tacoma Humane Society is partnering with the Pet Brigade on Joint Base Lewis-McChord to the provide the joint base community gift certificates for adopting pets from the local animal rescue agency.

"When people are looking for animals, I bring them around the counter and show them what's available at the Humane Society," said Pet Brigade Facility Manager Rhianna Lake.

The Brigade is giving the adoption effort a boost with its Facebook page, offering free advertising for pet adoptions on its social media site.

Several adoptions have taken place among JBLM customers during the past several months, Lake said. Using the robust social media community allows pet parents wherever they are deployed or on assignment throughout the world to check in on their animals. The Pet Brigade takes pictures of animals in its care and posts them to the website so far-away parents can see how their dogs or cats are doing, Lake said. In a typical recent situation, the owner of Zero, an Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler), got divorced and moved into the barracks, where animals aren't allowed. Needing to find Zero a new home, she took advantage of the new free service.

Lake and her staff put a picture of the dog online along with basic information about his situation and within four days, Zero had found a new home. To notify the community, the organization posted the news on Facebook:

"Thank you for all for your interest and attention to Zero, yesterday he found a new loving forever home and is happy as can be!"

Serving as the facilitators for adoptions isn't hard for Lake and her crew; they are all pet lovers and some have adopted their pets from the kennel.

"It's exciting to not have to take dogs to the shelters," Lake said.

The Pet Brigade is a joint public- private venture with Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, according to its website, and is JBLM's only authorized private kennel.

The kennel provides dog and cat boarding, doggie day care, grooming and training. As a service, employees can go to the airport to pick up animals shipped by servicemembers traveling from another location.

The facility is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, call 912-4898, email, visit the website at or like them on Facebook by searching for "The Pet Brigade."

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