PHOENIX (KSAZ) - If you've had a runaway pet, you know the feeling. That ache in the pit of your stomach, wondering where your pet is, and if he's okay. One Valley woman dedicates her time to reunite lost pets with their owners.
Beth Smith helps prevent that heartbreak. By day she works at Maricopa Animal Care and Control, by night she works as a doggie detective.
"I'll have to contact Buddy's owners to see if he's been found," said Beth Smith.
Every day Smith scours the web searching for missing pet ads. She tries to match those pooches to animals in her shelter.
"Usually, it's a flyer, I'll match up with nine times out of 10, it's either Craigslist or Facebook," said Smith.
Beth uses a special interactive map to match the missing dogs to their home. She enters the address from a flyer or posting, and the map shows if a dog's been found there.
"If it's a blue dot it's either a found animal that's with the county, or it's somebody in the neighborhood," said Smith.
One of her missions was finding the owner of Chihuahua's Cocoa and Leo. Their owner posted an ad on the "Lost Dogs of Arizona," Facebook page.
"In his picture, his ears looked much different as well, but you could tell, they came in together, and they were from those cross streets," said Smith.
"I've never been wrong when I though I've found a match, I've never been wrong," she said.
"When I first started, I was working in the kennels, so I did a lot of euthanasia and stuff like that. So it kind of counteracted the emotions I felt, and it kind of stills helps with a lot of the stuff I see here," said Smith.
In 6 years Beth has made over 800 matches, one of the dogs was missing for two years. Her dedication to pets is only matched by her commitment to their owners.
"I tell them just don't give up until you have the closure you need, whether it's a reunion or not," said Smith.
Beth's website she uses is available at http://pets.maricopa.gov