For many people in El Dorado County, pets are valued members of the family — they are the loving balls of fluff there to greet you after a long day at work, or put a smile on your face when you’re feeling down or blue. If these companions suddenly disappear or don’t come home one day, their absence can take a great toll on our hearts.
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Ten years ago, Christine (whose withheld her last name for privacy reasons), a native Placerville resident of over 50 years, unexpectedly had to say goodbye to one of her furry friends. One day she saw one of her cats, Cricket, frantically climb up the trellis and jump on the roof for safety. Cricket was clearly shocked from a mysterious incident that he had just witnessed. Christine called out for her other cat, Lucky, to make sure he was okay, but he was nowhere to be found. She and her husband searched all day and night, but he was gone. Lucky never returned.
After losing Lucky, Christine decided that she wanted to provide a resource for people who couldn’t find their missing cats, dogs or other animals. Since there were not a lot of avenues at the time to advertise pets that were missing, she figured a Website would be a great way to do this. After a few classes and teaching herself how to do Web design, Christine published and launched a Website called “Pets Path Home” in 2008, and it has been reuniting owners with their pets ever since.
Pets Path Home operates on a simple premise. If someone loses a pet, he or she can submit pertinent information about the pet either through an online form, e-mail or phone call. The ads and photos of the missing pet are then prepared and usually posted within hours of submittal. Once the ad is posted, an e-mail goes out through “Paw Alert,” where subscribers can keep up with the latest news of missing pets. Additionally, visitors can always look through all of the ads on the Website. These ads never expire and are only removed upon request or if the contact information becomes outdated.
In addition to the advertisements, Pets Path Home also offers a number of resources and tips on what to do if a pet goes missing. Under the “Resources” tab on the Website, Christine lists what to do if you have both lost and found a pet, complete with links to the contact information for Animal Services, and sample flyers that can easily be created. Christine said to make sure your pet has proper identification — this can be fulfilled either through a microchip, or through embroidered collars. She recommended the latter because ID tags on collars can fall off and become ineffective, so a collar with all of the pertinent information is the best way to ensure that a pet can be easily identified.
“This is just something that I love to do — I just want to help pets reunite with their people,” she said. “Since I’ve been through it, I understand. I just want to help in any way that I can.”
Under the “Reunions” tab on the site, visitors to the Website can read all of the joyous reunion stories and see the happiness in the owners’ faces upon reunion with their pets.
“All reunions are equally special and important whether Pets Path Home was involved or not. The reunion stories shared provide hope and inspiration to all,” she said. “Pets Path Home is all about hope … and never giving up!”
For more information on Pets Path Home, visit petspathhome.com or call 530-622-2525.