By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
MERCER COUNTY AREA —
"Networking is a good thing," according to Lisa Trezona, whose Pine Township family has been looking for their dog Saga since the American bulldog disappeared from her kennel Sept. 20.
They started their search the old-fashioned way -- driving around their neighborhood and back roads and hanging flyers around town, soon adding the Internet and social media sites to their list.
While the Trezonas have yet to find Saga, their efforts have been worthwhile; they've found other family's missing dogs and have faith in the kindness of strangers --- many have helped them look for their 2-year-old pet.
The Trezonas, who encourage everyone to also check out other lost and found pets, set up a Facebook page called "Please Help Saga Return Home Butler, PA."
They post updates on a Facebook group's site called "Mercer County Pets," a popular page that includes lost and found animals and a number of people who support the Trezonas.
They continue to receive many tips and leads via Facebook and national websites for lost and found pets.
Saga is also microchipped. A shelter or veterinarian can scan that chip and get the family's contact information.
"Microchipping is recommended," said Amber Pflugh, a vet tech with Orchard Creek Veterinary Hospital, Pine Township.
Orchard Creek charges $48 for the routine procedure, which is done by injection. The animal is numbed at the injection site, which is between the shoulder blades.
Once it's implanted, the pet owner calls the microchip company to supply their name, address, phone number and other contact information, Pflugh said.
It's good that Saga was microchipped, but that will help only if someone turns her in to a veterinarian's office or animal shelter, she said, adding many lost and found pets have no identification at all.
Lori Reynolds, director of Grove City Area Pet Rescue, urges pet owners to get microchips and have a tag made with their name and number.
"Facebook is really helpful, too," she said, referring to the Trezona family. "Lisa's been very good about it."
If a dog or cat without identification crosses your path, call rescues, shelters, veterinarians or police to report the animal found. It could be someone's pet, not just a stray.
"Don't assume that it doesn't belong to somebody," Reynolds said.
Dogs are required to have licenses and the number on the back of their tag should lead to the owner, whose contact information will be on file with their county's dog license office.
If you take in someone's lost pet while looking for their owner, put a sign in your yard with the animal's information and photo if possible in case the family drives down your street looking for the animal, she said.
"If your animal's lost, don't wait. Tell as many people as possible," Reynolds said.
When asked about why someone might steal a pet, Reynolds said people try to sell certain breeds to make money, but she hasn't heard of any dog-fighting rings in the area.
In the end, it's all about being a responsible pet owner and making sure your animal has the proper identification, said Reynolds, adding she's seen too many animals abandoned at her rescue over the last 11 years.
Grove City Area Pet Rescue can be reached at: 724-748-3610.
Published Jan. 9, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.