The Lost and Found Pets of Scioto Facebook page was created in 2015 with the intentions of being another site used for owners to relocate their missing animals by help of the community. However, in 2016 Lost and Found Pets of Scioto County became a non-profit organization, and the webpage began to do much more than reunite lost pets with their owners. The Facebook page quickly became used a hub of sorts for sharing tips or whereabouts of stranded, often abandonded, animals and utilizing the nearly 6,500 group members to secure the animal until it can be rescued and brought to proper veterinary attention.
Janine Hiles, Admin to the Facebook page and board member, often finds herself going out of her way to rescue all types of animals both day and night.
“I’ve got messages about abandoned animals at 3 or 4 in the morning, and I go out and pick them up,” said Hiles.
On September 4th, in the wake of hurricane Harvey, Hiles and another board member, Sandra Boyd, felt compelled to take their rescue efforts to an entirely new level for the organization.
“We rented a van, filled it with supplies like water, pet food and underwear and drove to San Antonio, Texas, ” said Hiles. Just knowing there was a need was enough for Hiles to spend 50 hours on the road, joining in on the convoy already heading to extend relief efforts from Ross County. In total, 5 vehicles stocked with supplies made their way into the wreckage of hurricane Harvey with the mission to rescue animals who need their help the most. “We didn’t take animals that were lost during the storm, we took the animals that were already in the shelters when the hurricane hit,” said Hiles. These animals were already unwanted, and were headed for death for sure to make room for all the pets who became separated by the storm. They were going to put all these dogs down to make room for the ones that were coming in.”
The lives of 21 dogs were saved by the combined efforts of The Lost and Found Pets of Scioto and Ross County Animal Shelter, with two additional lives being saved on the way to San Antonio when two dogs were saved from the middle of a busy interstate in New Boston, Texas and returned to their owners, thanks to local individuals who happened to recognize the animals by their discriptions.
The 21 animals brought back from San Antonio were taken to Ross County and were quickly on their way to beginning new lives, with a fresh start.
For anyone who wishes to make a difference in the lives of the animals here in Scioto County, Hiles stresses the importance of seeking proper medical treatment and vaccinations for your pets, and having your pets spayed or neutered. Hiles and The Lost and Found Pets of Scioto County welcome any volunteers who want to help with future rescues, or events planned by the organization.
“We would love to have the extra help. As soon as you make that first rescue, and feel like you saved a life, theres nothing like it.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932