Faces in the Crowd: Charlie
When a pet goes lost, it can feel like a part of the family is missing. If this situation arises, there is social media help – thanks to a willing and loyal volunteer- Charlotte “Charlie” Petrick.
This animal lover and advocate works tirelessly and voluntary posting and searching for lost pets in the Black Hills area through the Facebook page ‘Bring Rusty Home.’ She took the page over about 8 years ago from a pet owner who’s dog Rusty went missing. Since then, the page has had great success with 80% of lost pets reunited with their owners.
Charlie devotes countless hours to the social media page, in hopes of helping each missing pet and owner. She follows up on comments and matching up owners with animals. She will often go out and look herself for missing animals, as she always carries a squeaky toy and lease just in case.
With now over 8,000 followers, the popular Facebook page is a success, Charlie says, because of area shelters, animal control and animal admirers.
Petrick says, “It works because of our great community of animal lovers. We reach into Wyoming, into Nebraska, and Western North Dakota. We’ve reunited dogs, cats, horses, pigs, peacocks, gerbils, you name it, we’ve had great success and it’s all because of the folks in the Black Hills and surrounding areas that really care. And they love everybody’s animals. They have the compassion and the empathy to put themselves in that situation and say I gotta go help, and they do.”
Charlie remembers taking in an abused kitten at the age of 7. From that day forward, she’s had a heart for animals and compassion for the underdog.
She also volunteers with other animal outreaches like, taking pictures of the animals for the Humane Society, transporting animals when needed and advocating for more humane laws for animals in the state. Like most, she considers a pet a part of the family.
Petrick says, “They are just such a part of you, you love ’em. Some of the dogs that I transported to people have saved their life. They’ve been in such a depressed state a lot of times, and when something needs you, it gets you out of that. You’ve got something to take care of and it gives you joy; it gives you love, it gives you companionship. It’s a wonderful deal. It’s not just helping the animals, its helping the people too.”
Charlie suggests that to prevent animal lost check your area, like gates and fences to prevent an escape and encourages getting your pet microchipped and have collars with information on them.
Click here to find the Facebook page.
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