Imagine this: your dog escapes from your yard after being spooked by fireworks.
She wanders the streets, scared, and now can’t find her way back home.
She could be hit by a car, or find herself trapped somewhere – anything could happen.
How lucky it is, then, that Macarthur residents have their very own pet crusaders ready to save the day.
Members of the Campbelltown Lost, Found and Injured Pets Facebook group, created and run by Ruse resident Jody Scott, have made it their mission to help reunite pets with their owners.
Ms Scott said she was inspired by her love of dogs.
“I’ve always been a dog person,” she said.
“I hate the thought that a dog might be out and get hit by a car or injured a nobody is there to take care of it and nobody does anything to help. That’s such a horrible thought, so if we can prevent that from happening, that’s a great thing.”
The group, which has upward of 20,000 followers, recently became a registered charity and also provides emergency financial assistance for people who cannot afford their pet’s veterinary care.
The 40 regular volunteers are on call (outside of business hours for dogs, 24 hours a dag for cats) helping find missing pets, scanning the microchips of pets that have been found and removing deceased pets.
Ms Scott said the group had access to the Campbelltown Animal Care Facility and could impound animals that were unable to be reunited with their owners.
She said the Facebook community was a great place for pet lovers.
“I’d say 90 per cent of what we do comes from Facebook,” she said.
“We started off just a small group, but after constant promotion we grew a bit of a following.
“We’ve had some great success stories and that dedication from our volunteers and members is the key to getting the pets back home.
“I think a lot of it comes down to the culture of the group, there’s no bullying, no judgement, it’s all very supportive.”
It is Ms Scott’s hard work with Campbelltown Lost, Found and Injured pets that saw her named the Campbelltown citizen of the year on Australia Day this year.
She was shocked to receive the honour but was glad it would help get word of the charity out to more people in the community.
Ms Scott encouraged all pet owners to ensure their pets were microchipped and tagged, so that if they were ever lost they could be returned home as quickly as possible.