INVERCARGILL resident Trevor Wayne-Cameron has been helping cats and dogs get home to where they belong.
During the past year, he has found 26 dogs, eight cats and about six deceased cats within the area.
Last year, he registered with the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR) and had an animal microchip scanner and NZCAR app which allowed him to get lost pets home.
As an animal lover, two years ago his friends Lizzy Curry and Sandy Kennard helped raise funds to buy him a scanner.
“I got into it because the year before I saw there were a lot of animals who were going missing.”
He volunteered alongside Leonie Rae and they ran a social media page which listed animals which were lost and found.
“We don’t do it for the monetary gains but because of our love for animals.”
With the help of another animal supporter, Bryan Campbell, of Audio Visual Design, they printed out business cards to notify the community of the lost and found service, he said.
What inspired him to help others find their pets was due to his own personal experience.
A few years ago his son’s dog was stolen from his property.
“I had a chain around the gate and I was out fundraising and when I came home, I couldn’t find our dog. For someone to climb over the fence and do that is pretty low.
“It’s made me more determined to try to get other people’s pets home.”
Earlier this week, he received a call from a couple who had found a small dog on Venus St and they were able to reunite the dog with its owner.
“When you see an animal get claimed it makes your day and it makes it all worthwhile.”
Members of the community would sometimes show their appreciation for his voluntary acts by gifting him pet food, dog rolls and boxes of chocolates, he said.
However, not all lost and found stories had a happy ending.
“What I try to stress to people all the time is if you’re going to chip your animal, pay a little bit extra and get your details recorded in the national database, this gives them more of a chance of getting it back home to you because every animal deserves to be home where it belongs.”
He owned four cats and two dogs, Stomper and Ollie.
“I love my animals. I live on my own so they mean the world to me, they are like my kids.”
Anyone who finds a lost animal, could contact Mr Wayne-Cameron on 027 482 8176.