Pet owners know that there are few things worse than becoming separated from their pets. Whether they simply wander too far or run after prey and become disoriented, the struggle to keep pets safe is very real. Luckily, there are some elements, like collars/ID tags and microchips, that make a swift reunion possible. Preventing a separation is different than knowing what to do if/when you ever come across stray animals or lost pets. We have some pointers that will keep you ahead of the curve.
Assessing the Situation
Lost pets usually appear pretty stressed out and worried about their predicament. They are accustomed to scheduled meal times, comfortable bedding, shelter, and warmth. Being outside for extended periods of time can be incredibly upsetting and frightening to a pet used to their creature comforts, and you’ll be able to tell just by looking at them. They’ll make eye contact, they may beg or whine for attention, and will likely appear ungroomed and dirty.
Assisting lost pets or stray animals can be a huge undertaking if they require life-saving medical help for injuries or illnesses. If you aren’t able to provide the care they need, we recommend reaching out to the El Dorado County Humane Society.
Lost Pets Belong at Home
The good samaritan inside all of us says to help animals in need. If you think you can secure the animal while limiting injuries to both of you, please encourage them to enter a safe travel crate or kennel. This reduces contact with them while providing safe transport. It’s worth noting that your exposure to lost pets or stary can actually impact the health of your own pets. Until you know more about their medical history, try to limit contact.
You’ll want to have them scanned for a microchip. If we’re able to pull up their chip number, we can enter it into a national database that will hopefully result in locating the owner’s name and contact information. Sometimes, owners forget to register their pet’s chip with the manufacturer. In this case, the chip’s number might be connected to the vet hospital that placed their chip.
Doesn’t End There
It isn’t uncommon for lost pets to find new homes with the people who found or rescued them. This happens because of missing or incomplete identification, or simple missed communications.
Sometimes an owner will post flyers or internet ads for their lost pet, never to find them. Other times, the people that find lost pets or strays don’t follow through with reunion efforts. Whatever the cause may be, if you are able to adopt a new pet that you found outside, only do so after all efforts to find their owner have been exhausted.
It is crucial that lost pets or strays be examined and tested for certain medical conditions before you introduce them to any resident pets. Remember, your original pets have already staked out and claimed their territory, and sharing it with an interloper can only be done under your direct supervision and support.