Clark County animal rescue service helps reunite pets with owners


I Paw’d It Forward helps lost pets in Clark County find their owners, along with a variety of other services.

President Keri-Lyn Jakubs is committed to reconnecting pets with their owners and doing what she can to mitigate the problem.

“We started out as a lost and found pet recovery nonprofit that does search and rescue, and since then we’ve also included additional services such as support for pet cremations, and veterinary help for animals that were hit by cars,” said Jakubs. “We’ve also done jailbreaks and paid for folks to get their pets back from the humane society.”

She said I Paw’d It Forward holds agencies in the pet industry accountable, which extends to law enforcement, animal control, and the humane society.

According to Jakubs, lost pets are a large problem in the county.

“You could search any Facebook group or Craigslist and see hundreds and hundreds of animals missing, lost, couldn’t leave the humane society, or families who couldn’t afford to reclaim them. There’s a lot, in the thousands per year,” Jakubs said.

One way I Paw’d It Forward helps is through partnerships with veterinarians who help the organization microchip pets. The organization covers the cost of chipping the animal, and also makes sure they are spayed or neutered, she said.

Jakubs said there is a shortage of veterinarians “all over the country,” which makes operations like spaying and neutering services “exponentially more expensive.” She attributes part of it to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of folks have left the (veterinary) industry because it’s gotten so hard to do, because people have gotten harder to deal with. It makes industries like animal welfare or even the service industry in general much harder than it was five or 10 years ago,” Jakubs said. “I fully support the increase in prices, but it also means that a lot of folks who want to care for their pets the best way they can, can’t.”

Jakubs said almost all veterinary clinics that offer emergency services closed down in the county except for one, which she did not name, which also led to more expensive procedures.

“We, as humans, need to start being nicer, that’s for sure. Hopefully people will start flooding back to that industry, because we really need them,” she said.

When it comes to lost pets, Jakubs said they are “very successful” in locating the animals, although she did say the organization doesn’t find every lost animal. She attributes part of it to the organization’s social media presence, especially Facebook and Instagram, which are the most popular platforms used. 

The organization creates posts daily, which are then in turn shared by the community.

“We’ve been able to recover stolen pets from Yacolt all the way down in Oregon City, because this community works together to help us do that. We’re fortunate to have an amazing group of followers and pet-loving folks in the communities we serve,” she said. “We absolutely could not 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 put tags on their animals. As a remedy, she said they purchased a custom tag maker for any pets they find 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 the owners directly by scanning it with their phones.

Microchipping is another integral part. An added challenge to locating lost animals is that organizations don’t 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 that has a license tag that was just adopted from the humane society, there’s nobody to contact to check that tag until morning, so that animal needs a place to go until then, and we are the only place for them to go (during those hours),” she said.

Jakubs hopes to secure 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 feature outdoor aviaries for lost fowl the group finds,  like pigeons, doves and chickens.

“We’re expanding so that we can help more folks in the community keep their pets home to the best of their ability,” 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 found online at Its Facebook page can be found at
ward/ and its Instagram handle is