by Martha Michael
It was six years ago that Rochelle Dawn and Elizabeth Rose decided there needs to be a hub where owners with lost pets can connect with the individuals who find them. So, with the aim of increasing the odds that families could be reunited, they created the Facebook group Lost & Found Pets of SCV.
There are currently more than 10,000 members of the group and it is growing daily. The vast majority of members are residents from all over Santa Clarita with a few from the Antelope Valley, the San Fernando Valley and other neighboring communities. Because of telecommuting, cross-posting and the occasional pet lost during a trip to the SCV, members are not exclusively from Santa Clarita.
“The group has very strong community involvement for assisting other members in so many different areas of the process when a pet is lost or found,” Dawn said. “This can range from encouragement when an owner is feeling lost or helpless, education on the steps to take when a pet is lost or found, and even donating their time to look for the lost pet, post flyers or help transport a found pet.”
As one of the administrators, she encourages members to reach out to each other, which includes locating owners when you find someone’s lost animal, or assistance when looking for your own lost pet. The conversation also covers tips for preventing the loss of your furry family members. This form of communication “has had a cascading effect,” Dawn explained. “The group educates them and they, in turn, educate their friends and neighbors, leading to both preventing lost pets, as well as reuniting pets with their families.”
Most of the Lost & Found Pets of SCV posts are dogs and cats, but the group also sees residents’ concerns about lost reptiles, birds, pocket pets and farm animals. “If you can own it, we probably have seen it posted to the group,” said the co-founder, adding that there are an average of 300 posts per month, including lost/found pets, loose pet sightings and lost pet prevention.
“Most people who find lost pets are shocked to discover how many steps are required to look for the owners,” she said. “The old days of simply placing a few flyers isn’t enough anymore. It is also amazing and sometimes overwhelming how much information and community support there is to help an owner look for their lost pet or looking for the owner of a pet they have found. Just last year, the Lost & Found Pets of SCV community had a confirmed 70 percent reunited rate for pets posted to the group!”
You can find the group at www.facebook.com/groups/LostAndFoundPetsOfSCV.