Pets: Lost pet cases increase in summer, and having resources to find owners helps considerably
flickr photo by anxiousnut
Over the past couple of weekends, we’ve noticed that folks in our neck of the woods have decided to celebrate with warm weather festivities with fun gatherings and — surely much to the dismay of many pet owners — fireworks.
Our pets are disturbed by the noise enough to want a little extra TLC, so we do that and crank up the white noise machine in our bedroom a little higher to mitigate the cracks and booms, and that works reasonably well.
But after years of experience in caring for other pets, I know that some have a much lower threshold for reactivity to the noise created by fireworks.
In fact, the July Fourth and New Year’s Eve holidays keep me busy with extra precautions to buffer the sounds that always seem to accompany them and to provide comfort to noise weary dogs and cats who are on edge, and you can click here to read my top tips to help pets cope during these periods.
Previously, I’ve discussed how these two holidays are not only difficult in that respect, but they are the top two periods of the year when pets become missing because they become frightened and bolt — and all too often it ends up being through an open exterior door or through the fault of an unwieldy dog-walking tool — resulting in the escape of the pet. By clicking here, you can gain the necessary information on how to help your pet come home quickly and safely and to help prevent it from happening in the first place.
But, quite often I am contacted by people who find a lost or stray pet, and they really don’t know how to proceed so that the pet can be reunited with its family. I frequently find pets that have gotten separated from their people, and I’m glad to report that in most cases, I can get the two reunited quickly.
The problem is, although pets have a defined language, they cannot speak ours, so we need to arm them with the best tools so that they have a voice of sorts. The voice comes in the form of identification tags and microchips. Those are two crucial steps to help the person who finds your pet if they are lost.
And if you’re out and about, you’re probably a lot like me: Only too happy to take a little time to stop and check a pet’s collar to see if there they are wearing an identification tag with their human’s contact information so they can be notified. But if there is no tag on a pet, it’s nearly impossible to connect the dots, so to speak.
If you find yourself in this position and live in Washtenaw County, there are resources and some tips to remember.
First, and foremost, it's important to remember that there's a distinction between a pet being a "stray", and simply "lost." It's best to err on the side of caution and assume that the animal does belong to someone else and is just "lost."
Having said that, you can contact the state or city police closest to where the animal was found or the county sheriff and see if there is a report of a pet being missing. Ditto for Animal Control and local veterinarian offices — in the latter case, many pet owners will let their vet know first.
Humane Society of Huron Valley has a great online resource, their Lost and Found page. You can fill out a report for a found pet that will be listed on their website.
Here are numbers for who to call and other helpful resources:
- Humane Society of Huron Valley: 734-661-3545
- Ann Arbor Police: 734-994-2911
- Ypsilanti Police: 734-482-1025
- Washtenaw County Sheriff: 734-973-4911
- Animal Control: 734-794-6140
- Check online sources like Petfinder.com or Pet Amber Alert
A veterinarian can check to see if a pet has a microchip, but it’s always best to call ahead of time. Never take an unfamiliar pet to a veterinary clinic.
In the case that you find an injured domesticated animal, call the HSHV Emergency Rescue line at 734-661-3512. (For injured wildlife, click here.)