By Emily Phillips
La Plata County Humane Society
After a long day at work, you come home knowing that you’ll be happily greeted by your beloved pet, but as you walk inside, you’re met by silence.
Confused, you call out their name, walk around the house, look in every room, check outside, recheck the rooms, the closets, and scan the street to see if you see them. Your heart begins to pound, your palms are sweaty and your stomach has dropped – your beloved pet is missing. They’re out there alone, scared and at the mercy of strangers, traffic and wild predators. It can happen any day, any time and when you least expect it.
Being prepared before your pet goes missing will provide you with peace of mind. Here are some helpful steps to follow:
Collar with up-to-date ID and license tags. Invest in a non-slip collar (Martingale) or harness while walking you pet. Get your pet microchipped and keep the registration current. This quick, simple and almost painless procedure is used to help identify your pet. All pets adopted from La Plata County Humane Society are microchipped, and we offer walk-in microchipping services for all pets at a low cost. License your pet. Did you know that all dogs in La Plata County are required by law to be licensed? All you need is a current rabies certificate and to pay a small yearly fee (less if your pet is fixed). You can license your pet online at lpchumanesociety.org or in person. Spay or neuter your pet. Altered pets are less likely to roam and fight. You can sign up for our monthly low-cost spay and neuter clinics online or in person. Secure your home. Yard, fences, screen doors and window screens. Enroll in training classes. Teach your pet rapid recall (coming when called) and other basic manners. Check out our weekly classes provided by pranaDOGS; learn more at pranaDOGS.org. Safely transport your pet in a secure carrier. Prevent your pet from jumping out of the car door or window. Know your pet. Know the breed, color, any distinguishing marks, collar/no collar and personality in order to give a detailed description if they go missing.Keep detailed records: license certificates, vaccinations, recent photo and current contact information. This will help prove the pet is yours. Call your local Humane Society. Ask about their lost and found pet procedures. With the help of microchips, filing lost or found reports, photos and the La Plata County Lost and Found Pets Facebook page, LPCHS reunited more than 550 animals with their families in 2018. Be prepared, take initiative and use preventative measures to help us help them return to their families.
Emily Phillips is the marketing and development coordinator at La Plata County Humane Society.