FOR A LOST PET
Lost dogs and lost cats need your help to get back home. Few sights are more heart aching than that of a lost animal, wandering the around confused and scared, and searching for someone to trust. More than 10 million family pets are lost or stolen and reported missing every year. Overcrowded shelters often hold lost dogs and cats for less than a week, giving owners little time to find their beloved pets. So it is important you know where to start if this happens to your family's companion.
Lost dogs and cats wander the streets, confused and afraid of their surroundings. They can face all types of harmful situations, like busy roadways, wildlife attacks, and at times harsh weather. Stray dogs and cats may go without food for days and sometimes will endure poor treatment from the people they encounter.
Losing a pet can also be a traumatic experience for pet owners. Families form tight bonds with their pets and are often devastated to learn that their dog or cat is missing. Pet owners know they must rely on the kindness of strangers to help their loved one make it back home.
You can help lost animals by reuniting them with their owners. A little preparation is all you need to be ready for the next time you see an animal in distress and wandering around the neighborhood.
Step 1 – Learning To Identify A Lost Pet
Some animals may seem to be lost, but may actually have a loving home nearby. Avoid "rescuing" dogs and cats that aren't really lost by learning how to spot a lost dog or cat by their behavior. If you've seen a lost animal in the same area for several days in a row, you may want to purchase a cheap collar. Attach a note on the collar that says: "If this is your pet, please call..." If you do not receive a call in a 48-hour period, chances are the animal is lost. When you do rescue a lost dog or cat, make sure to leave a "found pet" poster in the area, just in case.
Step 2 - What To Do Next
If you are like many animal lovers, chances are you come across a lost animal quite often. Take a few minutes to read the guidelines from The Humane Society, Hugs for Homeless Animals, or The Missing Pet Partnership (which provides separate advice for rescuing lost dogs and lost cats). They will help you know how to act when you come across a lost dog or cat. Putting together a glove box emergency animal kit will put tools such as dog treats and a veterinarian’s phone number at your fingertips.
Step 3 – Rescuing a lost pet
If you do happen to come a cross an animal that is in fact lost, be sure to follow the guidelines given from the resource links above. It is extremely important to remember to take your own safety into consideration. Once you've rescued a lost pet, see if the animal has any identifying tags. Take the animal to the nearest veterinarians office and in the same area you found them. Chances are they could recognize the animal or they could have a board where you can post information about the animal. Be sure to include a good description of the animal and contact information in case someone recognizes them. They can also check to see if the lost pet has been implanted with an identifying microchip. You need to be sure and ask around the area you found the animal in to see if anyone knows the owner.
Step 4 – Notify Your Local Animal Control
If you are unable to locate the owner quickly, make sure you notify the proper authorities. Report the stray pet to your local animal control. They may have information about an owner trying to find his or her lost pet. If you decide to keep the pet (even temporarily) be sure to notify your local animal control office. They will explain your local and state laws regarding lost pets.
Smith County Animal Control: 903-266-4303
City Of Tyler Animal Control: 903-535-0045
City of Jacksonville Animal Control: 903-586-2553
City of Lindale Animal Control: 902-882-6861
City of Longview Animal Control: 903-237-1290
City of Whitehouse Animal Control: 903-839-4914 x 265
Step 5 – Try To Locate The Owner
You can try to find the lost pet’s owner by putting up posters and flyers around your neighborhood. Many local newspapers and other small weekly publications will allow you to run a "found pet" notice for free. You can also post notices of a lost dog or cat on these websites:
Beware of people who make a living using stray pets for dog fighting and other cruel activities. Make sure that anyone claiming to be the lost pet's owner is able to identify information about the animal that you did not already provide.
Step 6 – Finding A Safe Home
If you are ultimately unable to find the lost dog or cat's owner, make sure that you find a good home for the animal. These tips for finding a responsible owner from the Humane Society can help. If you are willing and able, ask your local animal shelter if you can be a "foster family" for the lost pet. That means that you will provide a loving home until the stray pet gets a permanent owner. Most animal shelters are overcrowded and happy for the help. If you must leave the lost pet in an animal shelter, try to find a no-kill shelter. This will ensure that the lost dog or cat is not going to be euthanized.
Rescuing a lost dog or cat requires you to take a few hours out of your busy schedule. But, when you think of the pet you rescued snuggled up in its grateful owner's arms, you'll be glad you took the time to help. Or if you have been the family missing your pet you would want someone to do what they could to help reunite you to your loved one.
Getting Help Online
There are Facebook pages that you can post on as well
"Lost Dogs of Texas"
"Lost and Found Cats and Dogs of Tyler, TX"
Local rescue pages, such as ours and those like ours will also help network for you for a lost pet.
You can go to www.petfinder.com and click on animal shelters to see if you can find a rescue or shelter that has room, or do a search for the breed you need help with to see which groups might take another. You can also check on www.adoptapet.com and click on Shelters/Rescues. Please check local and surrounding areas to where you live. Also, ask how often you can check back for space available.