Back in 2012, I started a little Facebook group to help me get my dog Samson home if he ever got out again. Ever since, this little area of Facebook where I or anyone else can post to for help finding a lost pet, or for help finding a lost pet’s owner, has grown into something so much bigger.
As of today, Austin Lost and Found Pets is now the primary resource for reuniting missing pets with their families in Austin and the surrounding areas — and an official partner of the Austin.com network. And what an amazing journey it has been!
Losing a pet can be one of the most emotionally exhausting experiences in the world. Beyond providing a forum with a large following to help people that have lost or found pets network socially, we offer hands-on guidance, expert advice, emotional support, and physical assistance searching.
Our street team regularly helps people search for their missing pets, hands out flyers, puts up (and takes down) signs, and traps hard-to-catch animals, often arriving before animal control does. Our team also offers microchip scanning services to people who have found pets but cannot drop by a veterinary clinic, PetsMart, or Austin Animal Center (AAC) to get them scanned. We can even track down the owners of pets with chips that are unregistered or out of date. Our team also scans deceased pets and takes them to AAC so that they are not taken to the dump, in order to give their families an opportunity for closure.
Due to our overwhelming success, AAC partnered with us in January and requested that we become a nonprofit organization, which we did right away. I never planned to become an authority on what to do when a pet is lost or found; it just happened over the four years that I’ve been doing this.
The process of building our group has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever experienced. Although I was the first recipient of the Austin Life Saver Award in July, the real reward for me is the feeling I get when someone’s missing pet makes it home safely.
So far, Austin Lost and Found Pets has kept thousands of animals out of the shelter, which quite literally has saved thousands of animals’ lives, helping AAC continue as the largest no-kill shelter in the U.S. In the process, we have mended thousands of broken hearts.
We are incredibly excited about working with Austin.com to help us spread the word about missing animals, educate the public and continue expanding our network and services. None of our success would be possible without the amazing community we have built together, and I encourage you to join our Facebook group and become a part of our network of animal lovers today.
Featured photo: Wikimedia Commons.