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Snoqualmie Valley Record • September 25, 2013 • 11


Health • Care • Diet • Training • Play

Fur Alerts

School on the Farm Critters enliven learning at Rooster Valley preschool

North Bend’s Pet Place owner uses Facebook photos to bring lost pets home

By Seth Truscott Editor

By Brenna Shoultz

Wilbur the pig is the smartest of the bunch. Give this microteacup porker the chance, and he’ll root in your socks or sneak into the feed can for extra snacks. With fall in the air, and an apple-themed curriculum on their tables, children at Rooster Valley Farm School in Snoqualmie figured that Wilbur would be the animal to eat the most apples in last Friday’s feeding time. But he’s not the only critter to gobble fruit at the farm school, which is home to more than a dozen animals, from Snaps and Boots the mini-goats, to Hazel the Flemish Giant rabbit, two goats, two ducks, a dog and six chickens. Owners Patricia Benson and Jen Ward, both of Snoqualmie, were elementary teachers who dreamed up a critter-based approach to their school, which opened last October. Both teachers and parents, Ward and Benson often took their own children to farms. Why not found a school that makes animals part of the curriculum? When Benson visits the animals, who live in a barn and coop that she, Ward, and their husbands built on the Falls Avenue property, she quickly becomes the center of attention.


t all started one crisp fall morning, two years ago. I was walking my dog, Sylar, for his regular potty walk, when one of my customers, Maggie, pulled up with a dog in her back seat. She had found the dog wandering down by the train tracks across from the Pour House Tavern in North Bend and picked it up to see if she could find the dog’s home. The two of them stopped by my store to see if I recognized her, and in fact I did. I just couldn’t place which customer she belonged to or how I knew this dog. My employee and I went through our “Facebook Friday” pictures we take of dogs to see if we Courtesy photo photographed her in the past, but Alex, the missing dog found nothing. I took down contact who inspired Pet Place information for Maggie and took a picture of the dog, in case I happened Market’s ‘Fur Alerts’ lost and found album. to remember where I had seen her. I posted the picture to Facebook, created the “Fur Alerts Lost ‘n’ Found” album and tagged it, asking if any of my customers recognized her. It later dawned on me that no one would recognize the dog because she belonged to a homeless man I had seen walking down the street and catching the bus across from my store. I called my customer immediately and told her where I thought he lived, “under the bridge.” I had seen him randomly walking around town before, so I set out on foot to see if I could find him. I had actually helped him in the past and had his dog’s info on file, so I looked him up and found the dog’s name was Alex. Now I had a name and an idea of where he lived, and passed on the info. I walked around downtown North Bend, where I have seen him in the past, and ended up meeting Maggie down by the bridge where I thought they lived. We peeked under and didn’t see anyone so she decided to hang onto the dog until she could come back later with her husband and try again. They came back later in the evening and found the homeless camp, where they did not find the owner, but a couple who was taking care of Alex while he was away.

See farm, 13

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Above, Hazel the Flemish Giant is more than a handful for Rooster Valley Farm School owner Patricia Benson, who, with co-owner Jen Ward, use animals, such as rabbits and ducks, below, to help young students grow. Right, Wilbur the pig encounters chickens at the door of the chore barn.

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12 • September 25, 2013 • Snoqualmie Valley Record

Alex knew this was her home and made herself at home. Maggie and her husband later brought the people taking care of Alex warm food and Alex some yummy treats. She posted on the picture of Alex I took that she found her home and the happy ending. It dawned on me that we needed a way to reach out to the public, in case I couldn’t recognize a dog, but maybe someone else could. And we also needed to start a donation bin for pets at the Snoqualmie Food Bank. I got busy creating a supply drive which we have continued to do monthly. We accept any form of pet food, treats, toys, clothing, blankets and litter. The Pet Place Market album “Fur Alerts Lost ‘N Found” has helped so many

posted about 50 pets to our page since we started and have found almost all of their owners through our page, word-of-mouth or posting the photo at our store. I feel that the page has brought the North Bend dog community together, because not only do we post about lost and found pets, we also post about pet

pets find their way home and families find their pets posted on our page. We generally get about 1,500 views once we post a picture, but with one photo we received 5,862 views and 129 shares, which amazed me. Generally, through the shares, someone knows the pet we have posted the photo of, and contacts the owner. We have •










food recalls, items that are toxic to pets, pet food drives for the Sno-Valley Pet Food Bank, and many more things to keep our community aware of what’s going on in the pet industry. My goal is to get every pet owner in the Valley on our page, just in case we find their furry pal. Actually, I can’t limit it to furry, since we have had

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feathered friends lost, too. North Bend is very community-based, and we all love to help one another. This is just one more way we could help each other. • Brenna Shoultz is owner of Pet Place Market in North Bend. Contact her at (425) 888-8828 or visit the store on Facebook.

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A Spotlight on covering 100 Years of Valley History


ince 1913, the Snoqualmie Valley Record has been covering the history of the Valley. Through challenging times and good ones, each week The Record has given our readers hard news and feature stories, and local sports and club news. For one hundred years, we’ve educated, informed and told the continuing story of the people, places and events, births, deaths, celebrations and growth of the Valley.

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SVR Special Pages - Valley Pets  


SVR Special Pages - Valley Pets