HAGERSTOWN, Md. – When Sean McCarren, 44, started having little four-legged “fans” follow him around on his UPS route, he decided to start taking their photos.

After collecting more than 60 pictures of dogs on his phone, he posted one on his personal Facebook page in 2013 just for fun.

“Everybody got all excited about it, so I just went ahead and made a little Facebook page to share them all,” said McCarren, who lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and works out of a UPS center in Hagerstown, Maryland.

After he established the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, other UPS drivers started posting dogs that they see on their travels delivering packages. There were steady posts for several years, then in 2017, the pages took off.

“It just went viral,” McCarren said.

The site was picked up on Buzzfeed News, as well as made into memes and shared on the internet. From then on, the likes and follows just kept coming.

As of early January, more than 1.6 million people “like” UPS Dogs on Facebook, more than 570,000 follow UPS Dogs on Instagram, and about 18,000 follow UPS Dogs on Twitter.

View this post on Instagram

Logan is ready to help his dad! (Seattle, Wa) Thanks, Anna

A post shared by UPS Dogs (@upsdogs) onDec 24, 2019 at 6:12am PST

“It was crazy,” McCarren said. “I just thought that it was a cool idea. I didn’t think that it was going to hit as hard as it did.”

McCarren was in the Air Force for eight years after high school before attending Shepherd University to study elementary education. Then, when a driving position opened up in his third year of college, he decided on a new route.

And he’s enjoying sharing photos of pets seen along UPS routes from across the country.

“There’s no negatives, there’s no politics, it’s just feel-good photos that are fun to see pop up on your feed,” McCarren said.

He runs the accounts with help from Donna Whitaker, who is also a driver out of the Hagerstown UPS center.

They schedule most of their posts in advance because of their busy schedules with posts already timed to go out through April.

Those looking to share photos of pets on their UPS routes or pet owners looking to share photos of their pets interacting with UPS drivers can email upsdogs@gmail.com, and McCarren and Whitaker will take a look.

And while the page isn’t officially associated with UPS, the package delivery company says it’s happy that the posts are showing the fun side of the job.

“We have several dog-loving drivers with personal social media accounts dedicated to celebrating the pets they meet,” said Kim Krebs of UPS via email. “These are great examples of the strong relationships UPSers build with their customers, both two- and four-legged, although these pages aren’t officially affiliated with UPS.”

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My boyfriend and our girl, Nori, out delivering packages in Dayton, OH.

A post shared by UPS Dogs (@upsdogs) onDec 18, 2019 at 3:29am PST

McCarren said he’s grateful that people are sharing and enjoying showing off pets on their routes. He hopes that he can continue the sites for years to come, grow the pages even more and create a line of products for people to show off their love of UPS Dogs with a focus on charity.

“Eventually, I want to be able to sell apparel on there and use some of the profits to give to local shelters,” McCarren said. “It would be nice to give back.”