WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Mary Beth McElligott is a dog tracker and trapper. Eight years ago, she started a pet rescue group to help people find their lost or stolen pet, after a family dog and a friend's dog disappeared.
"It's very traumatizing to lose a pet. You know, people can't eat, can't sleep, you can't think," she said.
Over the years she's been able to rescue hundreds of pets - free of charge - through the Facebeook group T&M WNY Lost Pet Rescue.
The "T" stood for Terry, McElligott's late husband who passed away in 2017. They used to rescue the animals together.
"He was out there with me and I feel like this is just a big tribute. I feel like every pet I get home is just an honor to him," said McElligott.
And the most important thing to her is bringing these pets home safely.
"That is the pay off you know. When you get that pet safe, and then you put that animal - that dog or that cat - into the arms of the owners, it is the best path in the world," she said.
And if she can't reach people to help find their lost pets, she said the first thing to do is to stay calm. Chasing after it or calling it's name could actually scare it away.
"We've seen dogs hide from their owners because they think they're in trouble. Be more cheerful, say things like good boy, and do you want a treat?" she said.