LOUISVILLE, Colo. (KDVR) — We know two people are still missing and the number of homes that have been completely lost and damaged, but there are dozens and dozens of pets missing in the wake of the Marshall Fire and there’s a huge volunteer effort to find them.

If you go to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley website, you see an endless scroll of missing animals. 

We’ve counted about 36 dogs that are currently reported as missing and even more cats, many of them in neighborhoods impacted by the fires. 

Many people trying to help are taking to social media to help reunite missing pets with concerned owners.

If you’re out looking for your missing animals, Wess Staats, a Boulder woman with a search and rescue background, urges everyone to be careful how you approach a pet. She said they’ve likely gone into fight-or-flight mode and might not even recognize you. 

“It’s just kind of primal. You know they go into that, like, protective state,” said Staats. “They’re just in a constant state of stress.” 

Staats has been helping find dogs even before the fire. 

Another woman, Amy Hwang, has been using social media to reunite missing pets with concerned owners.

“It just means the absolute world to me,” Hwang said. “Now seeing other missing pets being reunited that are just wandering the streets, and we’re cross-referencing pictures and everything of that nature and doing our best to make sure that we’re getting the right owners.”   

Hwang knows this search doesn’t always have a happy ending.  

“It’s hard, it’s hard to take in because you also put yourself in those people’s shoes, and they’ve also lost everything else on top of that. So it’s now just showing compassion and continuing to show compassion in times of grief and hardness during these devastating times,” Hwang said. 

Lost dog in survival mode rescue tips

  • Do not chase, call out, or use the dog’s name
  • Get down on the ground but do not make eye contact, this can be interpreted as aggressive behavior
  • Speak in a calm and soft voice not directed at the dog
  • Use strong scented treats or meats
  • Be patient

Full list of lost dog rescue methods [PDF]

Contact Boulder County Animal Control at 303-441-3626 or Boulder Animal Control at 303-441-4444.