A missing dog poster created by ROAM for a dog that was recently found by ROAM volunteers is shown: Feb. 5, 2021 (CTV News)

The volunteer group Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing (ROAM) has seen a dramatic increase in missing animal cases on Vancouver Island over the last two weeks.

“I can almost cry, it’s been so busy, honestly,” said Lesli Steeves, founder of ROAM. “There are so many dogs out there right now.”

Since Jan. 20, ROAM has posted 66 reports of missing dogs on its Facebook page. That’s an average of four missing dogs per day, when the group normally gets one to two per day.

“It’s been gut wrenching,” said Steeves.

Of the 66 missing dog reports filed since Jan. 20, all have been resolved except for six. One of the dogs who remains missing is Keno, a husky-shepherd cross who went missing near Duncan and was spotted 100 kilometres away in Coombs.

ROAM is unsure why it is seeing an increase in missing dog cases but says that if your dog does go missing, you need to be proactive right away.

“Don’t wait to get the information out. Having an updated photograph of your dog ready is really helpful,” said Steeves.

“Everybody’s lives are upended right now. Routines have changed and I’m sure our pets are feeling it,” she added.

ROAM was established in March 2016 and is registered charity run entirely by volunteers.