Web site connects woman with furry friends

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 18, 2010

FERRIDAY — While skepticism abounds when it comes to finding love online, Marsha Roark will tell you she met the loves of her life through a Facebook application.

And with the support of friends and family, Roark and a friend of three years, Krista Evans, have traveled more than 1,200 miles to meet them.

After browsing the social networking Web site’s Save A Dog application, Roark, a resident of Ferriday, began surfing shelters to find dogs that were similar to her 6-year-old, rat terrier-chihuahua mix, Rollette.

Email newsletter signup

And soon, she had found what she was looking for.

“When I saw (the application), I just said I’m going to see if I can find one like Rollette, and low and behold (Little Man) came up.”

Roark said Little Man, who was listed under the name Killer, was almost an identical match to Rollette.

Traveling 670 miles round trip to Olive Branch, and back, Roark said she picked up Killer and brought him home to join the family.

Since joining Save A Dog, Roark and Evans have been utilizing the site to help with rescue efforts in animal shelters.

The site allows users to virtually foster two animals at a time.

Once animals are selected, the Facebook user can earn points through virtually petting, feeding or setting up play dates with other users’ dogs.

“You get 10 points for petting a puppy. And for every 2,500 points, it (literally) feeds a dog,” Roark said.

Points earned go toward food donated by companies in support of the application.

“I think I have about 9,000 points,” Roark said. “I’ve (earned) three cups of dog food.”

Animals in shelters around the county are listed and can be adopted through contacting the shelter where the dog is located.

Evans said Roark hit the road to get her pets because no local animal shelters are involved with the Facebook application.

“The Natchez humane shelter is not on there. It should be, but it’s not,” Evans said.

After arriving home with Little Man, Roark fell in love with another face on the Web.

Charcoal, also almost identical to Rollette and Little Man, was waiting for Roark in a kill shelter in Texarkana, Texas.

Driving a round trip of over 500 miles, Roark and Evans went to adopt Charcoal, now named Little Girl.

“I wanted to take her home and get her settled, and they let us take her home,” Roark said.

Roark said the conditions she and Evans saw at the Texarkana shelter made an impression on her that has added to her passion for animal rights.

“This place in Texarkana is sad,” Roark said. “They told me they kill dogs every day. I was about to cry.”

“They get a thousand a month and they only have room for 200,” Evans said.

For Roark and Evans, Save A Dog is one of the best ways to reach out and provide a home and love to dogs that need it most.

“We just wish more people would get involved and rescue (dogs) instead of buying them from puppy mills,” Roark said.

“When (Little Man and Little Girl) got home, it was so amazing that they had the comforts of knowing they were home finally. They fit right in.

“It’s fascinating that (through this Web site) I can give a dog a home, and it’s the kind of dog that I want,” Roark said.