Arkansas special vet clinic forming pet lovers community online
RUSSELLVILLE (KATV) -- Rolling around, burying bones or chasing a squirrel, they're all activities that keep man's best friend pre-occupied and off of social media for the majority of their day.
However, when health complications happen that require a visit to the vet, one group of Arkansas vet specialists use Facebook and Twitter to make sure the owners know what's going on.
Waiting on a loved one in the hospital gives a feeling of worry and unknowing, but the same can also be said for pet owners who take their furry friends in for major surgery.
From bone re-setting and tumor removals to Facebook posts and tweets, Azzore Veterinary Specialists in Russellville bark to their own tune while letting clients know how their "four-legged" family members are doing.
It's not all about minding your manners while waiting for a check-up or surgery at Azzore's clinic. Customer service is taking on a new wave digitally.
"Jennifer takes a picture and that's the first picture that gets posted of that patient," said Cheree Miller, who started the online outreach a few years ago.
With owner's consent, immediately after coming through the door,
Azzore posts a picture of each pet on Facebook and Twitter, with a small summary of what their visit is about.
"This is Manny and he's here today for a mass excision," Miller said while giving of an example of a post.
When the clinic became one of the first to focus on social media as a way to reach out to pet lovers and clients, it never knew it would lead to more than 2,300 fans on Facebook and at least 1,700 followers on Twitter. The combined group includes many people from various parts of the country.
"This community has sprung up that's very supportive. People who have brought their pets to us for surgery stay on our Facebook page. They interact with new clients," Miller added.
"We love her as much as we love a child. Well, don't say that on TV, our kids are watching," laughed Little Rock residents Melba Collins and Gordon Brehm.
We met Collins and Brehm taking their Irish Setter, Stella, home after another procedure at Azzore. Sweet Sweet Stella, as she is known to the Azzore community, continues to suffer from aging issues, but it comes with loving messages from people they've never met.
"It's been a tremendous support through everything that Stella, Gordon and I have been together," Collins said.
There's nothing quite like that special bond between a dog and its owner.
We captured that on-camera with Manny who is recovering from a mass removal on his neck.
When it comes to animals and their short life spans, tragedy at times strikes sooner than expected. As people follow each step of these furry friends going into CT scans and surgery, some of them never return to their owners.
"The dog had a tumor that was inoperable and the family opted to say goodbye and let him go," Miller said about the first time in poster an "In Memory," photo.
"What we found was really incredible because there was this huge outpouring from all of our clients that follow us on Facebook. Excuse me I'm getting emotional," Miller continued as she wiped tears from her eyes.
"It was incredible everyone posting their condolences, their sympathy. Saying what you did was the greatest thing; it was the greatest act of love."
Mingling fun and energetic updates, with at times the tragic loss of pets that are considered family, Azzore displays information and love within each social media post.
They don't let the 140 characters of Twitter to limit its outreach to all animal lovers.
It's important to mention Azzore indeed calls each of its clients personally for updates on their pets, but social media gives them an extra avenue to connect with all pet lovers.
At times, they even do surgery on stray animals looking for adoption.
You can see its entire outreach on their website here: http://www.azzore.com/