Kodak woman hopes Facebook page will prevent pet thefts

Kodak woman hopes Facebook page will prevent pet thefts

Posted:
Marsha Hayes, of Kodak, created a Facebook page called Sevier County, Tennessee - Missing Pets in 2012 to help people find their missing pets. Marsha Hayes, of Kodak, created a Facebook page called Sevier County, Tennessee - Missing Pets in 2012 to help people find their missing pets.
"I did this so people could be reunited with their own animals because there are so many missing pets in this county," said Marcia Hayes. "I did this so people could be reunited with their own animals because there are so many missing pets in this county," said Marcia Hayes.
"Depending on the breed and the market, sometimes there's folks who will pay high dollar for certain breeds, so it's possible," said Sevier County Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Melissa Snow. "Depending on the breed and the market, sometimes there's folks who will pay high dollar for certain breeds, so it's possible," said Sevier County Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Melissa Snow.
Hayes' Facebook page has reunited 17 missing pets with their owners. Hayes' Facebook page has reunited 17 missing pets with their owners.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KODAK (WATE) - A Sevier County woman is on a mission to protect people's pets in her community

Marsha Hayes, of Kodak, created a Facebook page called Sevier County, Tennessee - Missing Pets in 2012 to help people find their missing pets.

"I did this so people could be reunited with their own animals because there are so many missing pets in this county," said Hayes. "It's just ridiculous."

Hayes says recently there have been several posts on her page about pets being nearly stolen.

She is scared there have been attempts at "pet flipping," the act of stealing a pet to resell it for profit.    

"About five days ago I received six or seven posts of incidents where people are pulling into people's driveways trying to lure their animals into the van," said Hayes.

One of those posts was from Shannon Wescott, from the New Center community.

Wescott posted, "There was a white panel van, no markings, that pulled into my driveway just moments ago & acted interested in my boxers & my neighbors boxer until they saw me on the porch. The driver pointed at me and he got half way got back in the van after questioning what he wanted. He claimed to be selling Omaha steaks."

Many of the messages on the Facebook page have the same story including people driving a white van claiming to sell steak.

"Depending on the breed and the market, sometimes there's folks who will pay high dollar for certain breeds, so it's possible," said Sevier County Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Melissa Snow.

Dr. Snow says they have only had one person come in telling them this story about seeing a suspicious van.

She says there are several things you can do to protect your pets.

"Microchips will be your best if you have a chip in your dog," she said. "We can scan that, and veterinarian clinics around can do that and track it back to you."

Hayes is now encouraging her followers to take action. She is encouraging them on her Facebook page to call law enforcement officials if they see a suspicious van in their area.  

"We'll get you," said Hayes. "We'll get you sooner or later."

6 News contacted every law enforcement agency in Sevier County, but there have been no official reports of people trying to steal pets.

Hayes says she plans to contact the sheriff and let him know about the posts from her Facebook page.

So far, her Facebook page has reunited 17 missing pets with their owners.

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