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You may feel at times that the federal government doesn't really like you. But it does like your pet. The Agriculture Department since 1996 has sponsored the Missing Pet Network at www.missingpet.net.

Jerry DePoyster, the department's expert on animal research issues and webmaster of the USDA Animal Care Division's site at the time, created the site to address pet owners' concern that their missing animals not end up in a research laboratory. The project grew with the addition of sites in many parts of this nation and Canada.

The Missing Pet Network also includes a separate page devoted to finding missing and stolen horses. The volunteer network solicits help from the public, provides tips on finding a lost pet and posts listings of missing pets. Sponsors must agree to post listings of any kind of pet.

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