LOST PETS - ATTITUDES, ISSUES, BELIEFS
Applicable to any U.S. area --
Applicable to some International areas
Pets - attitudes,
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Section I tip:
Do not give up. Do not give up too soon.
have 5 days to find your pet in a pound or shelter
(under Federal law), yet it can often take weeks or months
a lost pet to surface. Find more info here in
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.
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.
GOOD AND BAD.
Some attitudes towards people looking for or helping lost pets exist
because of the mass numbers of pets which are killed every year on
streets, highways, in pounds and shelters, and the accompanying misery
our pets experience. As a result, it can be difficult for shelter
workers to not view those who have lost pets with disdain. People
assisting strays who bring a stray to a shelter will frequently
encounter the same bias. Some of the people and attitudes you may encounter
in agencies and neighborhoods as you search for your lost pet are:
1. Wonderful, caring people who are not judgmental,
and who only want the best for both you and your lost pet.
2. Caring people who are judgmental and look at you as though you are a
criminal for having lost a pet, or for bringing a pet to an agency, even
though you may have saved that lost pet from the streets.
3. Decent people, but people who couldn't care any less about your problems nor the problems of your pet, due to their own lives being
4. Wonderful people who care deeply about the animals but have no
interest in your issues. Often this particular attitude develops with
burnout, from having seen too much animal suffering for way too long.
This can also be due to somewhat sanctimonious individuals always
assuming the worst of other people.
5. People who care nothing about you or any animals, and who simply want to
go on with their own lives and avoid any animal issues.
People who care nothing about you or any animals, other than that the
animals are an income source.
Be mentally prepared for all of these responses to you while
you search, and your
efforts will be a little easier.
B. STRAY OR NOT.It is commonly believed that a "stray" is a homeless pet running loose. That's
true, but it is also true that your beloved lost pet is now a stray
if he is running loose. If you have other pets which you allow outside
on their own, outside of your own yard and out of your control, those pets are also strays at
the time they are running loose, since "stray" is defined as "a domestic
animal found wandering at large".
C. HOW LONG WILL YOU SEARCH? If you are like most people, you will
not search for your pet long enough. You'll learn some of the reasons
why as you study this document.
D. HOW AND WHERE PEOPLE SEARCH.
believe when they lose a pet they can simply go to their local pound, visit
their local humane shelter, put an ad in their local paper, perhaps put up some
posters in the area immediately around their residence or wherever the pet was
lost, maybe put an ad up on Craig's list on the web, and then just sort of wait for the pet
to come home.
Unfortunately, it's not that easy because there are many
many additional issues you must consider while searching for your pet. Foremost,
it's important to have a well-rounded understanding
of the issues involved. Once you understand what happens to lost pets, where
they go, how they get there, why, and when, then it's
more-possible to devise a workable plan for
bringing a lost pet home.
Now is not the time to rely on hopes that old-fashioned information is accurate.
For example, if you know 10 details, but there are actually 30 or more details you
should know, you can see how you are immediately losing two-thirds of your
opportunities to find your lost pet. It's important to know it all in order to
make an adequate search plan, one where you know you've done the very best you
can on behalf of your lost pet.
E. HUMAN ERRORS.
The fact is, humans make mistakes. This is true for facilities,
as well as for friends, family, neighbors. Keep this in mind when
someone tells you your animal is definitely not in a particular pound or
shelter. Perhaps it is there, but listed incorrectly. Based on your
previous experiences, make a mental note of whom you can trust to do a
good job for you when accepting help.
additional Lost Pets error info see Section
II, Item M.
F. HANDLING OTHER ERROR ISSUES.
Finding a lost pet becomes even more difficult when other people's
personalities, bad attitudes, or pet-protectiveness get thrown into the mix.
For example, some
who are not even color blind will insist an animal -- one which
otherwise sounds like your tan pet -- is white, when in fact the one
they are holding is tan as it can be. If you, knowing that this sort of
descriptive error happens, want to check it out (since it otherwise
sounds like your lost pet), it can be awfully tough to convince some people they
might be making a mistake. If you insist that you see the animal
for yourself, you may have to convince the individual that you're really not a horrible person
just trying to get another lost pet which you can sell and make money
One way to work around this problem is to have someone else call the
party who is being feisty with you, and then go to check out the animal to verify whether
it might be yours. Bring a photo and other proof of ownership with you,
in the event it is your pet.
PUREBRED vs MIXED BREED. Pet owners tend to believe their pet will
never be euthanized by a shelter or impoundment facility and that he
would never be sold for research, simply because that pet is purebred,
or very expensive, or so cute or so sweet, or way smarter than most
pets, or whatever. This is not reality; you will find in-depth
information later in this document.
YOUR PET -- SAFE OR NOT. People who lose a pet are typically convinced that some nice neighbor has
taken the animal in and will love it and keep it forever. You will find many reasons in this
document as to why this is awfully shaky ground.
The truth is that if
a lost pet is running loose, the opportunity for someone to take the pet
in and keep it is quite slim. The reason? Because many millions of pets
are lost, abandoned, and/or turned in to pounds and shelters every year.
If there were three kind neighbors on any given square city block, for
example, and throughout their lives, each neighbor continued to take in
every stray on that block that needed help, each of those neighbors would have to take in
and keep over a thousand animals, and keep those animals for their full
lives. This estimate is
based on numbers of animals euthanized each year, estimated number of
residences on an average square city block, and a roughly-estimated
number of square city blocks in a large metro area of approximately 3
Obviously these statistics will vary greatly depending on
size of municipality or metro area, with some stats being much much
lower and others being much much higher.
You can run these
numbers for your own area by using the same method. Based on info from
city offices, we assumed 13 blocks per mile and an average of 10
residences per block or 24 per square block; we acquired estimated
numbers of animals killed on streets and highways plus animals euthanized in pounds and shelters for an entire metro area from a large
local humane organization.
See here at Section
B - further Lost Pets neighborhood info.
FRIENDS, FAMILY, NEIGHBORS. Most people are kindly and caring,
and would do nothing to harm a pet by causing its loss. But it is a fact that
when it comes to pets, not all people
are nice, including some members of some families, some neighbors, and
some "friends". Don't indulge in the blame game, don't look at
everyone with suspicion, but simply be aware, and put forth your own
best search efforts.
Also see related neighbor/friend/family examples at Section II-G-1. J. PERSONAL SAFETY ISSUES. Please do not assume you are safe when out
searching for your pet simply because you know the neighborhood. We live
in an age of human predators, with others preying on people for many
different reasons -- so caution is important for both men and women.
Of course, not all of these tips will apply in
all circumstances, but they are presented here with an eye towards due
Always use good judgment; watch over your shoulder. If you are out
walking and searching when the streets are quiet or dark, move across the street
when you see a stranger approaching and keep an eye out to see where the
person goes. Avoid walking near vans or similar vehicles. If you are the
least bit suspicious about someone's behavior, get out of the area.
Avoid giving out your full name, phone number, or address during your
search. Never allow anyone to deliver "your" pet to your
home; never meet in any other secluded area to view the found pet when
you are alone. Always meet in a public place; if you cannot, have
someone go with you to view the animal at the location of the finder. When you
get to the person's location, however, again use good judgment before
getting out of your vehicle. Once at their door, ask
the person to bring the leashed or caged animal outdoors for you to see
(don't be shy about telling them that you choose to be exceedingly
cautious). Bring a leash or cage with you so there should be no
objection, and so the pet will be safe.
When out and about, don't forget to be more watchful
and careful than usual to not walk into the path of vehicles while
you're engrossed in your search efforts. If you must search at night,
swing a flashlight as you walk, and/or wear reflective clothing or
reflective strips. You may also want to carry an attack repellant.
While out searching, also be exceedingly cautious of
unfriendly dogs; bring a source of protection with you when walking
(visit your local pet store for options such as a spray repellant
suitable against dog attack).
The chance of human or animal attack is very very slim.
The trick with personal safety while searching is to simply assess such
situations automatically, making instant safety decisions, so you can relax and concentrate on your search.
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Additional keywords: animal pound animal shelter dog pound
impoundment facility county pound city pound
humane society humane shelter neighborhood search
police pound sheriff department animal control humane society
lost pet blog spca lost pets blog
Study this site carefully;
one little detail may be the one that brings
your lost pet home.
Most-comprehensive in scope, animal-pounds.com has the info you need.
Questions people frequently ask:
I've lost my pet; now what?
Help me find my lost pet?
What if my pet gets lost?
Where can I find lost pet rescue?
little piece of information may be the one you must have.
Here you'll find information on what happens to pets in pounds,
how animals are killed (euthanized) in pounds and shelters,
how to find out what happens to animals in pounds,
as well as how to find lost cats and
how to find lost dogs.