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Lost and Found Do's and Don'ts
Prevent your pet from becoming lost by:
DO: Make certain your dog or cat wears a collar with a rabies tag, city license or
In addition, the receipts for these tags may be required as proof of ownership if your pet is ever lost. This is for your protection so that no unscrupulous person can claim your pet. Permanent identification is now available to you and your pet in the form of microchip implantation.
DO: Take photographs of your pet. If your pet does become lost, photos used in a lost ad, on a flyer, or left at your local shelter can help identify your pet.
DO: Keep your pet safely confined at all times to your house or fenced yard. If your dog requires more exercise, walk him on a leash. It's great fun for him and good for your health too! Cats can live long, safe and happy lives completely indoors. With a litter box, toys and a scratching post, they never need to go outside.
DO: Vary the times your dog is out in his fenced yard. A set routine may help someone know when would be a good time to steal your pet.
DO: Put a lock on your gate to keep unauthorized persons from entering your yard and removing your dog.
DON'T: Allow your cat or dog to roam free. Dogs should be confined at all times in a fence or in your home. Cats should be confined indoors.
Animal theft is
It only takes one time to lose a beloved pet forever!
DON'T: Include your pet's name on identification tags or tell strangers your pet's name. Knowing the name can give a stranger a certain amount of control over your pet.
DON'T: Leave your home and leave your pet unattended in your yard, even inside a fence. A stranger can easily enter your yard and remove your pet.
When you have lost a pet:
DO: Visit all of the local shelters in person to look for your pet. Do this every 2-3 days. Remember, you know what your pet looks like; shelter people don't know him!
DO: Place a lost ad in your local newspaper. The cost is minimal and many people who find a pet look for an ad.
Keep one of your pet's identifying features to yourself for use only when someone responds to your ad. Many people include a statement that the animal needs medication. This discourages an unscrupulous person from keeping an animal if they believe the animal may cost them money.
Offering a reward is often helpful when placing an ad. However, pet theft for extortion is not uncommon, and any such attempt to extort money from you should be reported to your animal control or police department immediately.
DO: Make up a simple flyer, with a photo if possible, for distribution in your neighborhood grocery stores, veterinary hospitals, grooming parlors, pet stores and local shelters.
DO: Ask your mail carrier, newspaper carrier, meter reader, and the children in your neighborhood to keep an eye out for your pet.
DON'T: Call your local shelters by telephone. Many shelters do not take lost reports by telephone or without a photo, nor will they confirm or deny pickups of animals over the phone. They do not want to take the chance that they might not recognize your pet from a phone description.
You need to actually visit shelters and look for your pet. Pets are often found miles away from the place where they were lost, or are turned
DON'T: Include your pet's name in your ad. Keep that to yourself for identification purposes.
DON'T: Meet any person who attempts to extort money from you for the return of your pet alone. You may agree to appease that person, but make sure you are accompanied by a police officer or animal control officer.
After you have found your pet:
DO: Let shelters and everyone know so that they can remove your flyer and concentrate on animals still lost.
DO: Look at the steps to prevent the loss of a pet. Follow them to prevent this heartache from happening again. You may not be so lucky a second time!
When you have found someone's pet:
DO: Check the animal for identification, such as tags on his collar or a tattoo on the inside of his thigh. Write down the information, such as numbers, year, and veterinary hospital. Your local shelter can help you trace identification. Should you find a tag on the animal stating that he is "microchipped" you will have to bring the animal to a local shelter so that the chip can be read by a "scanner". Call first to make certain that your shelter has this capability. If they do not, they should direct you to someone who does.
REPORT A STRAY ANIMAL
Please call the Chesapeake Police Department's
DO: You are also encouraged to visit a shelter or veterinarian near you to have the animal "scanned" for a microchip. Many owners are having their pets implanted with identifying microchips as a sure source of identification that cannot be removed.
Only a microchip scanner can detect the presence of a microchip. If you choose to hold on to the animal, CASU will send an officer to your home to photograph the pet and scan it for a microchip, so that a report can be kept on file.
DO: Check the lost and found ads in the classified section of the local newspaper. Report finding the animal to your local shelter, veterinary hospitals, etc. It is illegal to keep someone's lost pet without reporting it. You may even place a found ad in the newspaper yourself. Simply state in the ad that the owner of the animal must pay you for it.
DO: Turn the animal into a shelter if you cannot find the owner or keep him with you. That is the most likely place for an owner to look for him, and if not claimed, he may be adopted by someone else. To simply turn him loose is cruel and may even end in him being killed by a car or other animals.
DON'T: Ignore him. He needs your help before he falls into the wrong hands or is killed or injured in traffic.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION,
CALL Chesapeake Animal Services Unit AT 757-382-8080.