Dear Shelter Operators,
Thank you for all you are doing to protect and preserve the animals in your care. We appreciate the effort you put forth on a daily basis to help return lost pets to their owners and to place others with new families.
As far as helping lost pets to be reunited with their legal owners goes, we’d like to make some suggestions to everyone professionally involved with animals to ensure we are each doing everything possible to help lost pets make it back home. By making the following practices standard in every animal care facility, we feel we can all work together even more effectively and thus increase the likelihood that any given lost pet will ultimately be reunited with his or her family.
- Scan every animal that is brought to your shelter for a microchip using “Best Microchip Procedures.”
- Keep detailed records about where and when an animal was picked up and make this information available to the public.
- Keep detailed records of calls your facility receives from people who have lost a pet. Request that they send in pictures of their lost pets and show the photos to your staff members and volunteers immediately after you receive them.
- Use an easily-accessed bulletin board where owners of lost pets are welcome to post their “lost pet” flyers. Use a volunteer to maintain the board and have the volunteer call the owner identified on each flyer every week to see if the individual has found his or her pet.
- Add links to your shelter’s website to reference articles and other sites that provide owners with reliable advice about how they can find their lost pets.
- Post pictures of lost pets brought to your facility on your organization’s Facebook page and/or website.
- Mention whether a dog that is adoptable or impounded was brought to your shelter as a surrender or a stray.
- Have volunteers or staff members compare lost pet reports with the animals your facility is holding as strays to see if any match.
- Scan every animal in your shelter one last time before allowing him or her to be adopted or euthanized.
Thank you for taking the time to review the above list. And, again, thank you for your commitment to the animals in your shelter. We know that without your efforts, very few lost pets would ever make it back to their respective homes. We are truly grateful for everything you do. And we look forward to working with you and your facility for years to come.
Lost Dogs of Wisconsin