A few tips to avoid being the owner of a lost pet:
1.ID is very important. If you can't afford to microchip or tattoo your pet, at least make sure his collar has your current phone number on it, either on a metal tag, or with marker in legible print. Pets adopted from the SPCA are now tattooed during their spay/neuter.
Emily is just one of the many dogs at our very full shelter
2. If you DO microchip or tattoo your pet, make sure that the information you have on file is always up to date. We have had registered pets come to the shelter with outdated contact information. There is nothing we can do but try to find the person by name... and that doesn't always work. Keeping your pet up to date on vaccinations and vet checks not only helps your pet (and others) avoid illness and death, it also allows shelters to contact you, if your pet is found.
Sometimes animals are registered as a puppies or kittens, but we have nothing current to go by to find owners.
3. Take lots of pictures of your pet and store some on your computer, or on someone else's computer. If your pet goes missing, it is very simple to first email a picture to everyone you know in town, and then to missing pet sites. After that, you can make posters of your missing pet to help spread the word.
You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post your pet for you on our SPCA lost and found pages on energeticcity.ca as well as fsjnow.com. Put "Lost (or Found) Pet" in the subject line. You will still need to post on the regular classifieds and visit or call the shelter regularly to check for your pet.
A picture is worth a thousand words! This is Talvi
4. Make sure your pet knows its boundaries. If you are a new dog owner, walk your dog on a leash around the perimeter of your neighbourhood for a few weeks before venturing off on other walks. He will become familiar with where home is. Don't let your dog wander loose. You can be fined if your dog is found at large or if someone reports your pets as a nuisance.
Pets LOVE to be walked and need lots of exercise, but we are often short dog walkers. Would you help?
5. Check the perimeter of your yard and make sure that there are no holes or escape routes for your pet. Pets can make themselves pretty small and can jump and climb, too!
Remember that a big back yard is NOT a substitute for exercising your pet. Pets can become bored if left out in the yard or are tied up with nothing to do, and will seek adventure elsewhere.
Want your dog to be there when you get home? Tire him out BEFORE you leave for work in the morning. If you can't walk your dog in the mornings, consider hiring a dog walker, or getting a treadmill for morning exercise. Dogs need interaction with a "pack" and if their human pack leader will do nothing with them, they may seek out other company and excitement.
Marley (now adopted) burning off some energy.
6. Cat owners... letting your cat "out" to do his business wherever he wants just ticks off the neighbours. In several cities, even cats are not allowed to be running around loose. Consider taking your cat out for a walk on a leash, having an enclosed outdoor exercise pen or even keeping your cat indoors with lots of playthings and a good litter box. Exercise is good for both of you... and it's a lot safer for Fluffy to be under supervision and away from dogs, other cats, or vehicles.
Also, loose cats are not noticed by people nearly as often as the loose dogs, so keep yours close to home, or your missing kitty may be on his own.
Many cats are brought in to the shelter without any identification. Some are pretty generic looking!
Remember... the SPCA is not just about prevention of cruelty to animals. It is also the lost and found headquarters for all of Fort St. John and surrounding area (including Taylor, Hudson's Hope.... and even way up the Alaska Highway!)
Missing a pet? Found a pet? Need to claim your pet? Call 250-785-SPCA.