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Fur Alerts: North Bend’s Pet Place owner uses Facebook photos to bring lost pets home
By Brenna Shoultz
It all started one crisp fall morning, two years ago.
I was walking my dog, Sylar, for his regular potty walk, when one of my customers, Maggie, pulled up with a dog in her back seat. She had found the dog wandering down by the train tracks across from the Pour House Tavern in North Bend and picked it up to see if she could find the dog’s home.
The two of them stopped by my store to see if I recognized her, and in fact I did. I just couldn’t place which customer she belonged to or how I knew this dog. My employee and I went through our “Facebook Friday” pictures we take of dogs to see if we photographed her in the past, but found nothing. I took down contact information for Maggie and took a picture of the dog, in case I happened to remember where I had seen her.
I posted the picture to Facebook, created the “Fur Alerts Lost ‘n’ Found” album and tagged it, asking if any of my customers recognized her. It later dawned on me that no one would recognize the dog because she belonged to a homeless man I had seen walking down the street and catching the bus across from my store. I called my customer immediately and told her where I thought he lived, “under the bridge.” I had seen him randomly walking around town before, so I set out on foot to see if I could find him. I had actually helped him in the past and had his dog’s info on file, so I looked him up and found the dog’s name was Alex.
Now I had a name and an idea of where he lived, and passed on the info. I walked around downtown North Bend, where I have seen him in the past, and ended up meeting Maggie down by the bridge where I thought they lived. We peeked under and didn’t see anyone so she decided to hang onto the dog until she could come back later with her husband and try again. They came back later in the evening and found the homeless camp, where they did not find the owner, but a couple who was taking care of Alex while he was away.
Alex knew this was her home and made herself at home. Maggie and her husband later brought the people taking care of Alex warm food and Alex some yummy treats. She posted on the picture of Alex I took that she found her home and the happy ending.
It dawned on me that we needed a way to reach out to the public, in case I couldn’t recognize a dog, but maybe someone else could. And we also needed to start a donation bin for pets at the Snoqualmie Food Bank.
I got busy creating a supply drive which we have continued to do monthly. We accept any form of pet food, treats, toys, clothing, blankets and litter.
The Pet Place Market album “Fur Alerts Lost ‘N Found” has helped so many pets find their way home and families find their pets posted on our page. We generally get about 1,500 views once we post a picture, but with one photo we received 5,862 views and 129 shares, which amazed me. Generally, through the shares, someone knows the pet we have posted the photo of, and contacts the owner. We have posted about 50 pets to our page since we started and have found almost all of their owners through our page, word-of-mouth or posting the photo at our store.
I feel that the page has brought the North Bend dog community together, because not only do we post about lost and found pets, we also post about pet food recalls, items that are toxic to pets, pet food drives for the Sno-Valley Pet Food Bank, and many more things to keep our community aware of what’s going on in the pet industry.
My goal is to get every pet owner in the Valley on our page, just in case we find their furry pal. Actually, I can’t limit it to furry, since we have had feathered friends lost, too.
North Bend is very community-based, and we all love to help one another. This is just one more way we could help each other.
• Brenna Shoultz is owner of Pet Place Market in North Bend. Contact her at (425) 888-8828 or visit the store on Facebook.
The most recent pet in the lost photo album at Pet Place Market is a kitten named Houdini, right.