As we go about our busy lives, local heroes are tirelessly giving up their time to make a difference in our world. If we didn’t already know it, the Covid-19 pandemic further emphasised the need for community support. All around us, people continue to go the extra mile to help others.
Founded under a different name, Charlie’s Angels is a non-profit organisation created back in 2007 by Caroline Leaver and a few friends (all volunteers in N.E.Lincolnshire) who now run the group. It spans an approximate 30 mile radius from Grimsby to Cleethorpes. The page was made in aid of four-legged canine, Charlie, reported missing. He would later become the inspiration behind the name we know the group by today. Charlie’s Angels search for lost pets, no matter how big or small, whether it’s more common like a cat or dog or a more unusual pet like a ferret or a budgie. Recently, the Meta group (Facebook,) have even gone as far as to assist reuniting a family’s goat, spotted “trotting” along Peakes Parkway.
The group works like two pieces of a puzzle providing a virtual platform, for those having lost pets or those found by strangers. It also highlights issues relating to pet theft and problematic walking areas with dangerous conditions (e.g = washed up palm oil on beaches.) Charlie’s Angels have the ability to set up nature cameras or drones in order to help trace the whereabout of the pet, as well as a wide audience of followers to request search parties around the areas the animal was last seen.
Charlie’s Angels will offer advice on what you can do to help if your pet goes missing. They will include ideas like placing something of a familiar scent in the front garden to help the animal find their own way back home if they are nearby. Another thing that the group recommends is to start producing flyers. These should include any details that could help lead to the animal being reunited like the pet’s name, description, size, last location, owner’s contact details and how long ago they were last seen. A law, passed on the 6th of April 2016, makes it essential to ensure your pet is microchipped and up to date with all the information necessary to find the pet’s keeper. Did you know that 1 in 5 dogs are not microchipped despite it being compulsory due to law? If authorities are notified of a pet with no microchip or updated details, the keeper of the animal could face a £500 fine. Charlie’s Angels offer a free microchip scan to assist with reunions.
If you were to find someone’s pet, Charlie’s Angels’ main tip is to not chase the animal. This is because the animal may be frightened. They advise taking a photo and sharing it with them along with the location the photo was taken at. It doesn’t matter if you only have a few seconds, that photo could be the lead needed for a family to retrieve answers about their pet.
The shortest time a local pet has been missing for, once reported missing to the group, is a few hours whereas the longest has been around 2-3 weeks. Studies show that between 11-16% of dogs & 12-18%of cats go missing at least once over a five year period. Charlie, who the group is dedicated to, had just been adopted before he managed to escape his harness. He remained missing for 4 days. Another dog aided by the efforts of Charlie’s Angels is called Cookie. Cookie vanished in Scartho for around two hours until he returned home by himself.
Charlie’s Angels take donations other than money. They have previously been donated humane cat traps and dog crates as well as small thermal imagers, head torches and even barbeques. Using fundraising, they have managed to buy live feed cameras, powerful torches and more. The group is currently trying to save up for drones (£500-£1000) and larger thermal imagers (£3000-£9000).
To contact Charlie’s Angels, you can find them on Facebook (Meta) under ‘Charlie’s Angels Lost Pets Grimsby Cleethorpes and beyond’ or you can use their email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by new Young Reporter Megan Clipson
First published in Grimsby Telegraph 15th March 2022