The page has thousands of volunteers and a success rate of 93 percent in reuniting pets with their owners.
The bond between dogs and their humans is exceptionally beautiful. Our furry friends are an indispensable part of our lives and we cannot even go one day without them. It is a dog parent's worst nightmare when their beloved pooch goes missing and it causes them great distress and heartbreak. This was what happened to Allison Crookshank and her family when they lost their 6-month-old puppy in a car accident. The accident ejected their pet dog, Penny Moo, out of the vehicle's window and although the family searched extensively for the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the densely forested landscape surrounding the road made their attempts futile, reports The Washington Post. Allison said, "We thought Penny Moo was gone forever."
Fortunately, local volunteers who monitor the Lost Dogs of King County Facebook group got involved in finding Moo. According to Lily Burns—who volunteers about 16 hours a day as the group's Facebook moderator—the group has more than 34,000 members and a 92 percent success record in reuniting individuals with missing dogs. "About 30 people post about missing dogs every day, and we look into each and every one. If there's a dog out there that needs help, that's where my heart is. We do everything we can to help reunite them," she explained.
Volunteers got involved in Penny Moo's disappearance—which was approximately three years ago—after a passerby notified Allison about the missing pets Facebook page within hours of her car accident. Wrought with worry about the canine's safety with the night falling, Allison shared a photo of Penny Moo on the group along with information about her disappearance. Within minutes of her posting, volunteers were out looking for her dog, she revealed.
Allison and her children made "lost dog" posters after the search party returned home once it got dark. However, they never had to use them as she received a phone call the next morning from the group's founder, James Branson, informing her that they had located her dog. They "found her under an overpass, about 50 yards from the accident scene," Allison revealed. Branson put her on his cellphone speaker so she could call out to Penny Moo and convince the puppy to come over to him. It's one of the strategies used by volunteers to keep missing dogs from becoming more scared, confused, and running away from rescuers.
"She heard my voice and she ran right over to him. I can't put into words how grateful I am. Jim thought, 'If I were this dog, where would I go? What would I do?'" said Allison. "What he did was such an incredible kindness. I think about what he did for us and Penny Moo every day."
"Happy reunions are rewarding for the dogs, the cats and the people. That's what keeps me going. And I also like working with my dogs — they're my family," said Branson. He explained that he started the Lost Dogs of King County Facebook page in 2014 after seeing that a similar organization in Snohomish County, Washington, was having success reuniting lost dogs with their humans. He also manages the Useless Bay Sanctuary, a non-profit that assists stray pets find homes. He employs two of his own dogs, Wakomu and Tino, to assist in the recovery of missing pets and cats in frequently forested and inaccessible places.
For 13 years, Seattle pet searcher James Branson has used his dogs to find lost animals. Today, he fields more than 800 calls a year from worried owners. [⭐️] https://t.co/zAFAbSrncK— Outside (@outsidemagazine) October 7, 2021
Over the years, the group has become an invaluable tool for the community. Accounting to Seattle Times, whenever stray dogs arrive at the county shelter, staff workers search the Lost Dogs group and other similar sites to see if they can find matches. According to Kathy Pickart, a Kent retiree who was reunited with her Shih Tzu, Sidney, many members of the Lost Dogs group join to find a specific dog and then stay because they appreciate the work the organization does. The group has solved thousands of cases so far and helped countless lost dogs reunite with their families.