They are the unsung heroes of animal rescue.
Since 2016 Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing, or ROAM, has helped find over 9,700 pets.
“That’s dogs, cats pigs, goats, snakes guinea pigs, whatever you have,” says ROAM co-founder Terry Mah.
From humble beginnings, ROAM has developed many different techniques to track and catch lost pets. From custom-designed cages to a fully stocked rescue van, the tools of the trade change based on each situation.
“In the case of longer search then we mobilize where we actually need to utilize traps, some cameras, maybe going out and cooking bacon as an example,” says Mah. “Our sweet point is 4 or 5 days, that’s typically the ROAM magic number is we usually get the dog within that fifth day,” adds Mah.
Volunteers have played a huge role in the success of the program. In five years they’ve gone from four people to over 250.
“We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers, they really are amazing,” says ROAM co-founder and Terry’s wife Barb.
“Everybody has their own little thing that they add to the team and it all comes together and works nicely,” adds Barb.
Social media is another key aspect of a successful search.
“We have the volunteers but we also have the shares,” says Terry.
“By the essence of sharing it and they share it and so forth it gets a wider range of people out knowing that this dog or cat or whatever is out loose,” adds Terry.
But no matter how many rescues the team is a part of, reuniting pet owners with their animals will never get old.
“The countless hours, the driving around or sleepless nights, phone calls . . . that makes it worthwhile,” says Terry.
To get involved with ROAM as a volunteer or to report a missing animal visit their Facebook page.