The author’s posts are entirely his or her own (unless of course they’ve been hypnotized by their pets) and may not always reflect the views of That Fish Place – That Pet Place.
A lost or runaway pet can be a serious and stressful experience. Since 2012, Help Find Sophie has used their Facebook page to assist Lancaster County residents reunite with their furry friends. It is important to help because, let’s be honest, even the most responsible pet owner has the occasional “oopsie”.
For the past few weeks, we have wrestled with this great opportunity to spread awareness. How do we, in one small blog, highlight the vast experience and knowledge we have gained in the hundreds of reunions of which we have been a part? We could utilize our word limit by reminding you to lock your dog or secure your leashes. We could also suggest better maintaining your fences. Or to stop asking the teenage girl from down the street to house sit, when we know she’s more concerned with watching television than your pet, which has already scaled the backyard wall.
Ultimately, we picked three simple actions that we feel are more important than minding that broken fence post that you were SURE Scruffy couldn’t fit through.
Three Ways To NOT Lose Your Pet
Keep the tags on your pet’s collar! Yes, the jingle of that current rabies tag is possibly the most annoying noise you’ve ever heard (specifically at 2am when your cat decides to have a techno dance party with that moth that flew in your window). But seriously, just do it. Did you know that all vets register those foreign numbers in a database that can be tracked back to you? We are serious…it’s true. Keep your pet’s rabies tag on for bragging rights, too.
Update if you move. Update if you change your phone number. Update if you have inherited your great uncle John’s Pomeranian after he went to live at Whistling Breeze Retirement Home. It’s not hard. Just call the chip company. Call your vet. You wouldn’t move without telling the post office where to forward your mail, would you? You wouldn’t leave for a week in Bahamas without setting up your work email to auto-reply, would you? NOPE….so get on the phone and update Scruffy’s contact info.
IDENTIFY YOUR PET
And no we don’t mean with the pink collar with sparkly fake diamonds (Any unique collar that could be used to identify your pet could easily slip off while your pet is loose). But really IDENTIFY your pet with an implanted micro-chip. DO it now! Get up! Heck, you can even stop reading this blog right now….and get your pet micro-chipped. There are clinics in Lancaster County that run specials offering micro-chipping for as low as $25. That’s less than the pizza and wing special that you will probably order for football on Sunday. Micro-chip!–It’s easy. It’s like giving your pet the voice you sometimes wish they had.
Imagine this scenario: Scruffy runs off to check out the new neighbors, who happen to have a new poodle. Scruffy, who may have collected a few briars and encountered a mud puddle or two, looks like a possible stray. Your new neighbors, unaware of Scruffy’s curious nature, scoop up your little man and assume he needs shelter. Now wouldn’t it be ideal if Scruffy could speak up and say “Hey I’m just here for the poodle, my name is Scruffy and I live down the street??” Well guess what, Scruffy can’t do this. And if he can please contact HFS immediately as we would LOVE to meet with you and promise not to exploit your dog for our own profit. ☺ But…just but what if…Scruffy would have a micro-chip? And these new neighbors take him to the local vet and have him scanned? Scruffy now has a VOICE. He now has an identity. And you will get the phone call that Scruffy is safe and sound hanging out with the poodle up the street. IT’S THAT EASY.
Help Find Sophie was started in 2012. It was created after a beautiful boxer named Sophie went missing in our county. In a matter of days the number of likes topped a hundred. Lancaster Contains were out in groups, searching for this sweet girl as if she was their own. The number of concerned people that answered the call for help was overwhelming. Unfortunately Sophie did not have a happy ending and she passed away after being hit by a car. For several weeks the site went untouched and the community mourned. Then, requests started coming in. Other Lancaster County residents began asking to post info about their lost pet. Little by little the page grew. Sophie was in everyone’s thoughts as each reunion unfolded. She became the legacy. Members often asked, “Sophie please help lead my friend home,” or told us, “Sophie was watching out for this pup.” So how could the page be deleted? Hundreds of followers became thousands. New members joined each day, some who needed help searching and others who wanted to offer their time to help search. Help Find Sophie became more than just a Facebook page looking for Sophie but now a family of members who will look out for each other. Friendships have been made. A small portion of our faith in humanity is restored every time we hear that member is out at 4am searching for a missing dog. Or that another member has rented traps to catch a cat that has been on the run for a week.
IS HELP FIND SOPHIE HERE TO SAY?
Well the honest answer is we hope not. We hope every single pet owner takes our advice. We would love to meet up with similar animal lovers for a cup of coffee instead of reading emails and scrolling through the pictures of the pets that are missing. We would much rather get to know you at the dog park instead of saying hi as we try to coax your German shepherd out of a corn field with a piece of cheese. We would love to focus our time and passion on educating and fellowship. And truth be told our husbands would most likely appreciate a conversation that wasn’t centered on “another” missing pet. ☺
So please please Spay, Neuter, Microchip!!!!
I can’t do EVERYTHING but I can do SOMETHING and TOGETHER we can make a difference in the life of a pet.
A full list of helpful tips can be found on the Help Find Sophie Facebook Page. Like us! This blog did not mention the importance of spay and neuter because come-on…you guys are smart. You don’t need us to tell you that there are plenty of friends who need homes.