WACO, Texas – The Humane Society of Central Texas works around the clock to clear the shelter – but with their high intake numbers, it can be difficult to find every animal a home.
If you find a stray dog, the Humane Society recommends trying to find the dog’s original owners first before taking it to the shelter. This can be done by scanning for a microchip or taking a picture and posting it in a local Facebook group called Central Texas Lost and Found Pets.
Evans is one of the many dogs at the shelter that was picked up as a stray.
“He had no microchip, so we had no way to track down his owner,” says Dr. Paula Rivadeneira, the Executive Director at the Humane Society of Central Texas.
Shelter workers believe Evans once had a home.
“Evans sure seems like he lived in a home before. We’re pretty sure he’s housebroken, because he doesn’t like to potty in his kennel. And he’s just really a sweet dog,” says Rivadeneira.
Sadly, this is the reality for many animals at the shelter who have gotten lost and can’t find their way back.
“There are studies in different parts of the country that show that many of the dogs who are lost, their owners are usually 1,000 feet away or one mile away,” says Rivadeneira.
This is because the Humane Society of Central Texas takes in dogs from all over the county, and their owners may not think to look for their four-legged friend in Waco if they live outside of the city.
Someone noticed this issue and created a Facebook group called Central Texas Lost and Found Pets.
“The girl who created it, Tiffany Green, she created it because she saw a lot of dogs in the shelter where there was no way they didn’t have a home,” says Jenny Luper, a moderator for the Facebook group.
Now the group has grown to almost 55,000 members.
“The number one best thing you can do if you find a lost animal is take a picture. Put it on Central Texas Lost and Found Pets with your location so someone can see it and share it,” says Rivadeneira.
The group is entirely made up of volunteers.
“I’m sure they’ve saved over a million dogs. There’s no way they haven’t. Last year alone they had saved over 8,000 animals. They’ve been doing it for a while,” says Luper.
They are dedicating their free time to keeping animals out of the shelter and are helping them find their way back home.
“It was our hobby, just volunteers. Nobody gets paid to do it. But every one of us feels like it’s our calling, and it’s amazing to be apart of it. They’ve taken so many dogs out of the shelter. We can credit a lot of our empty kennels to them,” says Luper.