The MPN originated in 1994 when Dr. Jerry DePoyster, the USDA staff
expert on issues involving the use of animals in research, decided it would
be a good idea for the USDA to have such a site to help people find their
lost and stolen animals. Jerry is exceptionally aware of the concerns of
people who have lost dogs that they not end up in research, and this was
a way to help. Since he was also the webmaster of the USDA Animal Care
Division's web pages, the Net was a natural forum for him.
After the page was up, Jerry was contacted by Alden Finley in Florida
who asked if he could link. That started the wheels turning. They both
felt a centralized grouping of lost pet sites would be more practical than
pages scattered here and there over the Net. MPN began as a nationwide
virtual linking of lost pet pages, each covering a state, although it has
grown to include sites outside the US as well. The MPN expanded to the
point Jerry needed help directing the project, so in early 1998, Ms. Sidney
Boardman was elected as co-director by the membership.
How MPN is organized
MPN is organized by state, or by country. There are two kinds of sites
MPN members maintain - listing sites for lost and found notices and search
resource sites. There is one listing site for each state (or country),
but there can be several search resource sites, each covering a different
area of the state. There are a few states which were split between several
sites in the beginning of MPN, that is no longer being done because people
are often confused which site to send a listing to, and where they should
look for their lost pet.