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 We can even track down the owners of pets with chips that are unregistered or out of date.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.
Yesterday the Austin Fire Department dealt with a somewhat unusual situation with results that probably shouldn’t surprise any Austinite. After sustaining an injury in an auto accident, a man’s dog ran away from the scene, and like any proper dog-loving Austinite, the man quickly followed.
Here’s how it all went down, as relayed on the AFD Facebook page:
Yesterday afternoon, Engine 1 and Engine 6 on the B shift were sent to a collision at Barton Springs and Riverside. As they arrive, our crews are told that the driver of the truck involved, and who was injured, had left the scene in pursuit of his dog who escaped the truck and left at a high rate of speed. Another bystander then tells Engine 1 that the owner/patient is now a couple blocks away, and the dog has been hit by a car with some pretty serious-sounding injuries.
Engine 1 finds both in a parking lot–the dog suffering some rather messy head/face lacerations, and the owner, although needing care and evaluation, being uncooperative since his attention was focused on the dog. Engine 1 was able to gain the owner’s trust by assuring him that they would look after the dog so he could be transported.
Our crews dressed the dog’s wounds, located a nearby emergency vet clinic, and transported the dog in the engine the several blocks there. The owner was contacted by our crew, who told him where the animal would be, as well as his condition, made sure all parties were okay with the arrangement, and passed the owner’s information on to the vet’s office.
We’re happy to report that the dog and his owner are both expected to make full recoveries. Just another example of the kind of commitment and dedication to service you see every day from the awesome men and women of the Austin Fire Department!
In Austin, this scenario probably isn’t all that strange considering how much we love our dogs. Many of us wouldn’t hesitate for a second to run after a hurt fur baby, consequences be damned. Many of the commenters relayed that they would react exactly as this man had, saying that their pet’s health and safety would come first.
The post drew plenty of praise for AFD from Facebook fans, and there appeared to be no criticism of anyone involved — dog rescue stories will do that. Either that or all the trolls are hanging out under the Reddit bridge today.
Commenters called AFD heroes and rock stars, and more than one person said that it was this type of love, kindness, and compassion that makes people want to move to Austin.
It wasn’t just AFD who showed big hearts yesterday. Commenter Anna Madrigal saw the whole thing go down and mentioned that she, as well as quite a few other good samaritans, stopped to help the dog. In her comment she says:
PAWS UP TO SEVERAL CARS AND GOOD SAMARITANS WHO STOPPED TO HELP THIS DOG! There were at least 10 ppl already gathered where the dog had been hit.Someone was holding on to his leash, comforting him and keeping him from running off again, while another was trying to stop the bleeding. I saw the owner RUN across the parking lots and streets to get to his dog. Several were already discussing where the nearest vet was right as the Austin Fire Department came to the rescue. Great news.
Nice work all around, Austin. Paws up, indeed.
Featured photo of Lieutenant Jim Baker dressing dog’s wounds courtesy of AFD Facebook page
Hammy the pig made a big splash on social media this morning as Austin rallied to try to find the piggie’s parent. Hammy was seen wandering around S. 1st this morning and was picked up by animal control officers. The Austin Animal Center made a post about the pig around 11:30 a.m., and within four hours it has been shared nearly 800 times, with over 1,000 reactions.
Thankfully, Hammy has now made it back into the loving arms of his pops, Gregory Alton. Officer Chapa of Austin/Travis County Animal Protection helped facilitate the reunion, along with the good people of the Austin Lost and Found Pets Page on Facebook. As the AAC page says, the pig was spooked in the storms and ran away.
Thanks to the incident, it seems as though Hammy might have some new friends and a play date soon. A Facebook commenter added: “I’m right in your hood too and I got a pot belly, maybe Hammy and Sir Porkington Chops-A-Lot should have a play date.”
Pets running away from home during storms is a very common occurrence, one that lands pets at the doors of Austin’s shelters. If you find yourself with a missing pet (though it’s unlikely yours will make quite the splash that Hammy did), be sure to visit the Austin Animal Center’s Lost & Found page as soon as possible.
If you’re looking for a pig pet of your very own, first do your research and make sure your home and your life are appropriate for a pig, then check out a local rescue organization like Ma’s Mini Pigs’ Farm and Rescue in Kyle or through the Rescue Me! Texas Farm Animal Rescue site.
Featured photo: Alison Alcantara on Facebook