“There wasn’t anything out there to help people look for dogs,” Bertrand said. “We started out with five people, then it grew to 25, 50, 100, 1,000. We just kept growing so fast.”
They have rescued more than 600 dogs already this year and receive notification of about 20 missing or found dogs per day.
“Even through rescue work I’ve done, I never realized how often a dog went missing,” Bertrand said.
All the funding for the group comes from donations and goes toward purchasing equipment, hanging up fliers and travel expenses.
“It generally ranges from $100 to $500 a month,” GSDR co-founder Holly Mokrzecki said of donations.
Not only does the group help find missing dogs, they keep in constant contact with their worried owners.
“We reiterate to them that we are doing everything we can to help find their dog,” Piche said. “I’d want them to help me.”
Someone from the group will call the owner every night and offer tips to help find their dog.
“They would always just check up on us,” Nadeau said. “They told us something we would never have done, cut up old socks and to leave a scent of a trail for him.”
The advice worked. A day after they set up the scent trail, Kamaya came home.
While Kamaya was missing for a week, the organization has found dogs that have survived for months on their own.
“One dog in Allenstown was gone for five years,” Mokrzecki said. “People would randomly spot him all over the place and feed him sandwiches. Finally, we were able to catch him.”
In Moultonborough, a dog was spotted around town for 11 months.
“They called him the mayor of town,” Piche said. “He’d always go to Dunkin’ Donuts every Sunday for stale donuts they would throw out.”
Eventually, the dog was caught. Piche said it was one of the happiest dogs she’d ever seen.