Make impoundment obsolete.
Who -- What
-- Where -- Why -- How
HOW TO CHANGE THE LOST
and SURRENDERED PET SYSTEM
Applicable to any U.S. area --
Applicable to some International areas
Lost Pets - attitudes,
Where lost pets go; animal behaviors; statistics; problems
facility may eventually get your pet and why
How to search for a lost pet
Example Search Schedule,
How to change the system
You are here
Section VI tip:
The pet impoundment system is a mess.
Most agencies are trying to fix it
but the fact is we still kill millions
of lost and abandoned dogs and
cats every year.
In this section,
are example questions to ask yourself:
What happens to pets in pounds,
How do I find the
numbers; how do I prove them?
What can one person
Many answers are found
throughout this website.
Our information has been carefully checked many
times, from many angles; however, laws change, facilities change,
numbers change, situations change.
Everything you read here about the lost pet
impoundment system can be verified or proven erroneous as you work to
find your pet; you
will find tips here on how to verify information as you learn how to
accomplish a serious search.
We encourage you to verify verify verify. Read
this entire website, all dozen or so main pages, to have your best chance at
Some information in this report is difficult to cope with and not for
the faint of heart; plan for an efficient search; it can take weeks or
months to find the lost.
Although this document is written
mostly in reference to dogs and cats, the principles can be applied to
other critters as well. Use your best judgment regarding your particular
lost pet and conduct your search accordingly.
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- Section VI - How to change the system
Ask others to link to this website lost pet
ask them to visit;
ask them to let friends, family, neighbors know about these documents.
Spreading the word about how extremely difficult it can be to find a
lost pet may help pet owners keep tighter control of the animals they
This, in turn, can help cut down on the numbers of pets killed each
what can you do to accomplish changes
in your area, your county or your state?
Will your own circumstances
allow you to:
--Push for legal changes.
--Volunteer to conduct
educational classes in schools.
classes for adults (schools, community centers, churches, etc.).
--Devise, sell, or
distribute educational products or services designed to increase awareness.
--Push for animal friendly
license plates with a portion of the proceeds to be used for very
low-cost spay/neuter programs.
products and give to friends, relatives, neighbors who need to
--Provide (anonymous?) gentle informational notes to neighbors who
don’t “get it”, and who are putting their pets at extra high-risk. Keep
in mind that sending some notes through the mail may be illegal; perhaps
a door note would be appropriate for a situation you are aware of.
--Mobilize or join a “Gang
of Good People” to aid strays and
other suffering animals.
Change the system by first
understanding it. Review all information in this document before
beginning your friendly attack. Also be sure to research other sites
A. BASIC SYSTEM.
Although most of the information on preceding pages is geared to finding a lost pet,
almost all of the details
also apply to helping a lost pet which you have found, and they also
apply to finding ways to change the lost and surrendered pet system.
If, instead of personally
aiding strays, you choose to delve deep into
the pet-kill story in your area with an eye
toward changing what is happening to pets, this section can be helpful. Find out who does what,
why, when, where, and exactly what happens to pets as
a result of your local laws and ordinances.
Also, research your state and federal laws and
learn how animals are hurt every day by myriad
regulations. In this section, you will find questions to ask as you
do your research.
B. GUIDELINES. Similar to procedures for
finding a lost pet, here are guidelines for learning impoundment and
shelter details about your area:
Get a good local
street atlas which lists every municipality in your
several-county area. Compare this list with your local
phone book(s), and ferret out the phone number for each
municipality (it’s possible not all will be
easy to find).
As you work on deciding what you can do to help, check
this out when you need a fun break:
This is a link for all the popular home, garage, pet, and roof gutter robotic vacuum styles available.
Cute~! Our site will stay open so you can come back to study more.
C. MUNICIPALITY QUESTIONS
Call every single municipality and ask the following:
1. Who impounds stray pets
in your area? (It’s possible the answer will be
“no one”, since some municipalities have no
impoundment laws). Most,
2. What is the name,
address, and phone number of your local animal
3. Is this a city-operated
pound or is it run by a contractor?
Continued below ....
Example metro area:
Minnesota. This metro area is often assumed to have only “several”
cities. In reality, it has something like 176 large
and small close-packed municipalities scattered throughout a 7-county area, plus
many more in the greater 13-county expanded metro area.
If you live in a reasonably-large metro area such as this, you may be surprised to learn you could
have as many as 60 or more “agencies” picking up, impounding, and/or
sheltering strayed animals.
Of course, in larger, more-complex, and more-populous metro areas, the
number could be far larger.
D. FACILITY QUESTIONS.
In addition to the above
very basic questions to ask of municipalities, you will also want to ask
the following questions of the animal facilities themselves. Most
facilities operate according to the individual municipality’s
ordinances, and those regulations may be different in each
Who actually goes out and picks up the animals? (city employee?
contractor? Police --- from which municipality?)
Where are healthy animals kept? (Ask for the facility name, address and
3. Where are dead bodies
held? Are people who have lost pets told about
and allowed to view them?
4. Where are ill or
injured animals kept? Are all persons looking for a lost pet told
about the ill and injured areas and allowed to view them?
5. Who keeps inventory of
each area, and are visitors allowed to see all
of the lists (cats, dogs, ill/injured, dead, calls
from people having lost or found pets)? Are visitors told to view all
lists since mistakes can happen (dogs on cat lists, cats on dog lists;
wrong gender, wrong breed, wrong color, wrong or no collar)?
6. Do you have a
veterinarian on staff for ill and injured animals? How often
does the veterinarian visit the facility? Does the
veterinarian come in immediately for emergency care? On
weekends or holidays? Who takes care of ill and
injured when no veterinarian is available? What happens if
an animal is brought in with massive injuries on a
Thursday night of a four-day holiday weekend?
7. Who hand-feeds baby
animals or others unable to eat on their own? (Or are
water and dry food simply put into food dishes and if they eat
they eat, if they don’t they don’t?).
8. How long are healthy
animals kept? Ill or injured?
9. How many animals were
impounded last year?
10. How does this facility euthanize (“humanely kill”)?
--lethal injection (ask which kind … the kind that paralyzes
animal for a few minutes before it dies; or the
immediately renders the animal unconscious;
is the shot given in the leg, heart, or
--gas (ask for details).
--decompression chamber (ask for
--electrocution (ask for details).
--other (ask for
11. What happens to
animals when their time is up (list separately for cats,
dogs, other species):
% claimed by owners
% DOA (dead on
% surrendered for research*
% other (ask if
they have “other” categories and what they are).
*Federal law requires government pounds
to surrender animals for research (not all obey – ask your local
impoundment facilities if they do or do not, and how they avoid it).
For a list of legally-registered research labs which use animals in
research, as well as animal suppliers, call your Federal offices and ask
for the Federal Register of research labs and dealers.
12. Who euthanizes the
13. How are the dead bodies
*Note: When a pet dies and
is cremated, ashes returned to the owner might be a mix of all animals
cremated at that time. To ensure that only your own pet's ashes are
returned to you, be sure to ask; you may need to pay an additional fee,
since cremating individually is very expensive. Also be aware that the
returned "ashes" are not simply ashes, but also bones. This is because
if the crematory heat is high enough to turn the bones to ashes, they
would simply vaporize and there would be no ashes left. If you want
ashes-only, an additional fee would likely apply since the bones would
have to be hand-crushed.
14. Call your State Patrol
office and ask who picks up live or dead animals on State
freeways, and what happens to these animals. Also call county Sheriff's
offices for information about county highways and rural areas. Call
highway departments and sanitation departments to find out if either
picks up deceased animals on the streets and highways, and if so, what
is done with the remains, and whether records are kept.
15. Keep in mind that any
animal from anywhere in your larger area could end up
stranded and desperate in your yard. If this happens, how will
16. As you summarize your
information, try to determine if a facility is:
--animal pound: (city, county, police department,
private contractor, state patrol,
--contractor (kennel, boarding kennel, purebred kennel, cattery,
veterinarian, other )
--shelter (kill, no-kill, rescue, foster)
--temporary animal holding facility
--warden (city contractor, private, county, police, state patrol,
--other facility or contractor.
Some of the above also act as research suppliers (you will ferret these out
as you do your information searches). Continued below ....
examples of how pets get
Neighbors, “friends” and family members have been known to “get rid of”
pets they see as aggravating, dropping them off away from home.
b) Cats and dogs have been known to sneak into cars or trunks
and then run when the door is opened … miles from home.
Even a small dog or cat can lope indefinitely at 3 miles per hour …
meaning in only 8 hours, that
animal could be 24 miles away. And most pets lose their
sense of direction easily, once a short ways from home.
municipalities contract their animal control whose wardens pick up and
transport pets many miles away from home to another area’s facility,
sometimes crossing through various other impoundment areas.
Dogs typically “lope”; cats typically
run-hide, run-hide, trying to find a hiding place that is
not already occupied by a bigger, stronger animal.
However, if lost out of a
vehicle or other similar circumstance, both dogs and cats tend to
hide in the general area indefinitely, waiting for the owner to return.
It does not take long for a frightened beloved pet to become terrified,
and to not trust anyone, including the owner. Cats often must be
humanely live-trapped in order to get them home.
FOUND PET TIP: When placing an ad about a pet you have found,
withhold certain information. This is important. You want to protect
that pet from unscrupulous Class B research dealers, dog-fighters, etc.
When someone calls thinking you may have their pet, be sure you have at
least one clearly identifiable characteristic about that animal which the
owner is sure to know, but which would be hard to guess. Keep in mind,
however, that not all owners pay much attention to things like exact
markings ... and many people -- even those who are not color blind --
will call an animal "white" when in fact it is tan. Many such human
errors exist, so you do need to use caution, compassion, and good
judgment while trying to decide if the person responding to your ad
could in fact be the owner.
us who do not find our lost pets each contribute a full share to the
multi-millions of lost and abandoned pets dying in the country every year.
We each have a personal, humane, and social obligation to find our pets.
your site to animal-pounds.com
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- End of Section VI - How to change the Lost Pet system.
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Additional keywords: animal pound animal shelter dog pound
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Questions frequently asked:
What if my pet gets lost?
Help me find my pet.
I've lost my pet ... now what?
Where can I find lost pet rescue?
Please find my lost pet for me.
Study animal pounds.com carefully;
one little detail may be the one that brings
your lost pet home.
Most-comprehensive in scope,
has the info you need to find your lost pet.
This website lost pets info is now available in book form:
Book pricing here
Other areas to check:
Lost and Found listings
Pets For Sale Listings
Craig's List online
Breeder wanted ads
(same as list for
Find out who does what, why, when, where.