Days after the Polar Vortex where temperatures dropped to below zero, we met these two adorable dogs. They were roaming as strays in the Metro East, and we were concerned for their safety with the frigid temps. We picked up the two dogs and took them to our shelter, but knew they likely had family out there missing them. We shared their photos on lost/found pet Facebook pages and made reports with county animal control, but their happy return home only came after our Lost Dog Team put boots on the ground to find their owners.

Thanks to a generous grant from Maddie’s Fund, we have established a targeted, grassroots Lost/Found Pet Return to Owner Program. This program allows us to print, laminate, and distribute lost and found pet flyers in targeted areas. This approach allows us to focus on returning pets to their people that love them and overcomes many barriers that owners face in reclaiming their pets, including computer/Internet access, transportation, and knowing where to begin looking for a lost pet.

After hanging flyers in the area the dogs were found, their owners called, excited for their furry family members to return home. We had actually picked them up from the same block they lived on! But the best part–we now have built a relationship with their family and can continue to provide support as needed. Both Novah and Bear were microchipped before returning to their owners, which will help them make their way back home if they are ever picked up again.

We are so thankful to Maddie’s Fund for supporting our work in the Metro East, and eager to help more pets return home to their owners that love them instead of ending up in the shelter system.

Maddie’s Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie.