They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it takes 28,000 Facebook users to find a missing dog.
Some of the furry faces on the Lost Dogs of the Facebook page might look familiar, whether you’re an owner, you’ve seen them around town, or you’re one of the page’s 28,000 followers.
Founder Lisa Reynolds started the page in 2012 after her own dog went missing and did not survive the outside world.
“I had nobody to help me, and that is the most sinking feeling to have lost a family member and yet there’s no one out there to help you look or know what direction to go in. So that kind of sat in my head for some while, thinking somebody needs to do something about this. And after a while I realized I was that somebody. And if I could come up with a way of helping just 1 dog get home, it was worth it,” Reynolds said.
Once it started taking just as much time as her full-time job, Lisa called in reinforcements. She has since recruited 7 other women to work with her, including Assistant Director Charlene Mottler.
The pair says it’s difficult not to get personally invested in each dog and its story.
“In order to continue doing what we’re doing on a daily basis we have to put just a thin wall between us, to be able to survive it. It’s like the stress that shelter workers and first responders encounter. You have to make a mental barrier and say ok it’s time to move on to be able to help the next one,” Mottler said.
They have a whole binder full of happy endings that makes it all worth it.
One of those success stories is this golden lab, Katie. She got loose one day last fall.
“I let her out, someone let her out…either me or my dad, and well…she ran,” Kiley Brennan, one of the dog’s owners said.
The Lost Dogs of the Finger Lakes posted a picture of Katie on their Facebook page. Through the comments, they were able to trace her back to the Brennan family. They were then able to connect the family to the Stray Haven shelter where she was being kept safe.
Thanks to those who commented on, liked, or shared the post, Katie was only lost for just 1 day before being reunited with her family.
This is just 1 of the over 10,000 stories the Lost Dogs of the Finger Lakes has. There are still plenty of dogs on the page who are missing or who are at shelters waiting to be adopted. Lisa told me she never deletes a post and continues to update them regularly.