By Pamela A. Morton
Lost dogs in Dunwoody have found a patron saint in the form of local resident ShawnMarie Leven. Leven, a single mother of 11-year-old triplet sons, has taken the art of finding a lost pet to a new level – namely, the Internet.
Launched in August, dunwoodydogdirectory.com is designed to be simple to use. Pet owners log on to the site, register their dogs and upload a photograph – all before a beloved pet is lost.
If the registered pup does turn up missing, the owner alerts Leven via the website and she immediately puts out something akin to an “all points dog bulletin” to all users on the site.
Once the word is out, the grassroots search begins.
“When a dog is reported lost or found, we alert the registrants and veterinarians in the same and nearby ZIP codes and post a message on the website’s Facebook page,” Leven said. “We encourage everyone to share the information with their friends.”
After five months of operation in Dunwoody, Leven is expanding her lost and found dog service to metro Atlanta.
“As the word spread of our success, we were encouraged by veterinarians and dog lovers to expand,” Leven said. “So, this past week, we launched godoglovers.com to all of Atlanta and its suburbs.”
Future plans include a sister site exclusively for felines and the addition of a blog that will include reviews of local pet services and businesses in addition to coupons and discounts.
Leven, a former CPA turned fulltime mother, is originally from Michigan, but has lived in the Atlanta area for more than 20 years. She is a genuine animal lover with three rescue mutts, Kali, Teddy, and Dagny, and one rescue feline, Melanzie, of her own.
The idea behind dunwoodydogdirectory.com came after she experienced her own loss — that of her beloved golden retriever who wandered off in the Buckhead area never to be found.
Since going live in August, Leven’s lost & found dog website can already claim three successful reunions between owners and their lost pets. One relieved owner expressed her gratitude on the dunwoodydoglovers.com facebook page: “Thanks to this community of great people for finding my dog, George! My family is very grateful and happy this weekend!”
Leven’s site has garnered a great deal of community support from veterinary offices, pet stores and supply companies, and, of course, the more than 500 users currently registered on the site.
But Leven’s staunchest supporters are her three sons, Zach, Scott, and David, fifth graders at Davis Academy. According to their mom, the boys have been instrumental in the development and the expansion of the website.
Leven has had numerous requests for ad space and is in the process of redesigning her home page to accommodate advertising. Her long-term goal is to set up a partnership with a non-profit rescue and to donate a portion of the profits she receives from her website’s revenue to them.
As Leven’s website continues to grow and gain popularity, Atlanta pet owners can rest easy knowing that she and godoglovers.com are on the job.