Sebastien Rubino / [email protected]
I Paw’d It Forward helps lost animals in Clark County find their owners, as well as a variety of other services.
President Keri-Lyn Jakubs is committed to reconnecting pets with their owners and doing what she can to alleviate the problem.
“We started out as a non-profit lost and found animal recovery organization that does search and rescue, and since then we’ve also included additional services such as assistance with pet cremations. pet and veterinary help for animals that have been hit by cars,” Jakubs said. “We’ve also jailbroken and paid people to get their pets back from human society.”
She said I Paw’d It Forward holds pet industry agencies accountable, which extends to law enforcement, animal control and humane society.
According to Jakubs, lost pets are a big problem in the county.
“You can search any Facebook group or Craigslist and see hundreds and hundreds of animals that are missing, lost, unable to leave human society, or families who couldn’t afford to get them back. There are many, thousands a year,” Jakubs said.
I Paw’d It Forward helps in particular through partnerships with veterinarians who help the organization microchip pets. The organization covers the cost of the animal’s microchip and also ensures that it is neutered or neutered, she said.
Jakubs said there is a shortage of vets “across the country”, which makes operations such as neutering and neutering services “exponentially more expensive”. She attributes some of that to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of people left the (veterinary) industry because it got so hard to do, because people got harder to deal with. This makes industries like animal welfare or even the service industry in general much more difficult than five or ten years ago,” Jakubs said. “I fully support the price increase, but it also means a lot of people who want to look after their pets as best they can can’t.”
Jakubs said that almost all veterinary clinicscs that offer closed emergency services in the department except one, which she did not name, which also resulted in more expensive procedures.
“We as human beings need to start being nicer for sure. Hopefully people start coming back to this industry because we really need it,” she said.
As for lost animals, Jakubs said they’re doing “very well” at locating animals, although she said the organization doesn’t find all lost animals. She attributes part of this to the organization’s presence on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram, which are the most used platforms.
The organization creates posts daily, which are then shared by the community.
“We have been able to recover pets stolen from Yacolt all the way to Oregon City because this community works together to help us do so. We are fortunate to have an amazing group of pet enthusiasts and lovers in the communities we serve,” she said. “We absolutely couldn’t do it without them.”
The group also works with other local animal rescues.
To make the problem of lost pets less rampant, Jakubs advises more people to tag their pets. As a remedy, she said they purchased a custom tag maker for any animals they found without one, which comes with I Paw’d It Forward ID numbers that can be registered for free. The tags also include a QR code, which allows people to contact owners directly by scanning it with their phone.
Microphonerochipping is another integral part. An additional challenge for locating lost animals is that organizations do not always communicate with each other. Jakubs said I Paw’d It Forward is the only 24-hour animal rescue service in the area.
“For example, if an animal is found with a license tag that has just been adopted by the Humane Society, there is no one to contact to verify that tag until morning, so that animal needs a place to go until then, and we’re the only ones they can go to (during those hours),” she said.
Jakubs hopes to get a larger property where she can house more animals within the next month. They also want to open a dog park for dogs who need private time, which she said other dog parks don’t always offer. The new location will include outdoor aviaries for any lost poultry the group finds, like pigeons, doves and chickens.
“We’re expanding so we can help more people in the community keep their pets home to the best of their abilities,” Jakubs said.
I Paw’d It Forward’s base of operations is an undisclosed location in Salmon Creek, but they serve all of Clark County.
Its website can be viewed online at ipawditforward.org. His Facebook page can be accessed at facebook.com/IPawdItFor
ward/ and his Instagram ID is