K9 Friends United has a firm bite on Mid-Ulster dog lovers!

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IT’S a well known fact that dog is man’s best friend and with around 500 million canine owners in the world, it just goes to show that they certainly aren’t barking mad.

The site dedicated to dog owners, K9 Friends United, was set up several years ago by Cookstown man Diarmuid Scullin and since then it has attracted dog lovers from all over the world and they have been joining up seeking Facebook style pedigree chums.

Owner Diarmuid said that the site gives dog owners the opportunity to create their own personalised webpage on K9 Friends United instead of paying monthly fees that a standard site would incur.

Numerous countries are represented including Hong Kong, Brazil, Russia, United States and Canada and over the last week 37 people have joined from across New Mexico, Arizona, Kentucky and New York.

Diarmuid built the site up from scratch and is enthusiastic about its potential, but still admits he ‘has a mountain to climb.’

Users can change their content and can add photos, blogs, videos and events and they can enjoy an instant messenger service. There is also a shoutbox if they want to have a rant about something, canine-style.

Businesses using the site to advertise can sell their services and products to the 1000 members. Walkers, groomers, sitters, vets, insurance companies, and those selling health items, collars, kennels and cages are all represented.

“This is like Facebook only it’s a gated community for dog owners,” said Diarmuid.

Diarmuid’s interest in dogs began when he was driving a lorry in Leicestershire which was his occupation for years.

“An elderly lady was trying to get across the road so I stopped the lorry and helped her across. On the other side was an elderly gent and he too was trying to get across the road and people were honking their horns at me. It was at that point I started to notice how many people were out walking their dogs,” he said.

“Some time after that I was listening to a programme about social networking sites so I thought it would be a great idea to have one for dog owners. I did it all on paper and bought my first laptop. I contacted seven web developers who refused to take on the idea,” he explained. “But now I have a great site which I’ve built up from scratch.”

Diarmuid is hoping that the website will continue to attract users across the world.

Visit www.k9friendsunited.com and fill in the information to join. There is also an Iphone app available so you can access your page on the move.

Diarmuid is giving away a year’s free advertising to the first ten pet-related businesses to respond to this article. Simply e-mail diarmuid@k9friendsunited.com and mention the Mid-Ulster Mail.