‘Help, I lost my dog’ — tips on finding missing pets in Tahoe (opinion)
Tribune Opinion Columnist
As the weather gets warmer people are becoming more active with their pets — going on hikes, down to the beach and such. The number of lost pets increases with all this activity. Here’s what everyone should know about finding a lost furry family member:
If you lose a pet, time is of the essence. Don’t wait! The sooner your report your pet missing the better your chances are of retrieving it. Call El Dorado Animal Services at 530-573-7925 to report missing animals. If they are closed, leave a message. Then contact Lake Tahoe Humane Society at its office. If during business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) call 530-542-2857. If it’s after hours, call the 24/7 emergency number at 530-577-4521. You can also text information to the 24/7 number — a photo of your missing pet and the information regarding the situation, such as where and when it was lost and a full description of the animal (including sex, age, size and if it is spayed or neutered).
Once Lake Tahoe Humane Society receives this information they will post your pet to its Facebook page and share with all the various Tahoe groups. This is a great way to get your pet’s information out to the community and has proven very successful in reuniting pets with their owners.
After you’ve taken all these steps, place fliers around the area. Sometimes pets wander fairly far away and someone may have picked up your animal.
It’s additionally recommended to place something with your pet’s scent on it outside the house; the smell will help it find home. If you lose your dog on a trail or out in the wild, place a dog bed or blanket in the area last seen and check it often. Many dogs have been found this way by owners who find them snuggled up the blanket they put out.
If you find a pet and they have ID tags, call the number on the tag first. If you get no response, call Lake Tahoe Humane Society for assistance in locating the pet’s owners. Also make sure you contact El Dorado County Animal Services at 530-573-7925. They may know who the owners are. If you can’t keep the animal you found until the owner is located, they will pick up the found animal and take it to shelter until the owner is found. Keep in mind this will cost the owner a pretty penny to reclaim their pet, so if at all possible try to hold on to the found pet for a while to see if owners can be located.
HERE ARE A FEW OTHER TIPS
Take advantage of this warm weather to fix any holes in fences; make sure there are no spots animals can dig out.
Always use a leash that is sturdy and connects securely to the collar. Make sure the collar fits well and is not loose or falling apart.
Don’t just “let your dog outside” to go to the bathroom; make sure you accompany it.
When taking Fido for a drive make sure you have him leashed before you get out of the car; when in unfamiliar locations dogs can dart off and get lost easily.
We highly recommend getting your pets microchipped — this way if they end up at a shelter, staffers will always scan for a chip first and you will be located.
Lastly, please make sure your pets have collars with legible ID tags with current contact information. Make sure you have voicemail set up on the phone number that is on the tags. I can’t tell how often people don’t, which makes it very frustrating for the person who found your pet.
It’s time again to submit your furry family member’s photos to the Lake Tahoe Humane Society’s calendar/card photo contest. To submit photos, head to http://www.LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org and click on the calendar link, scroll to bottom of the page, fill out form and submit your image. It a fun way to support Lake Tahoe Humane Society and help them help local animals in need.
Hopeful Henry is a column managed by Niki Congero, executive director of Lake Tahoe Humane Society & S.P.C.A. Submit questions or letters via e-mail to AskHenry@LakeTahoeHumaneSociety.org or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. For more information, visit http://www.Facebook.com/LakeTahoeHumane SocietySPCA, http://www.Facebook.com/Hopeful.Henry or http://www.twitter.com/LtHumaneSociety.