Report missing pets immediately; time is of the essence (opinion) |

Report missing pets immediately; time is of the essence (opinion)

Niki Congero
Tribune Opinion Columnist
Van is a 5-year-old dachshund/Yorkshire-terrier mix, he likes other pets and enjoys cuddling. He dislikes having his photo taken. He is a chubby 10 pounds. Don’t forget all animals come spayed or neutered, with all vaccinations and a microchip. Come visit Van at El Dorado County Animal Services, 530-573-7925. For Spay-Neuter services and other support, call the Lake Tahoe Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at 530-542-2857. Last week’s pet of the week Lyric is very happy he found his forever home.
Courtesy photo |

With lots of snow comes lots of visitors around the Lake Tahoe basin; and a lot of these visitors bring their dogs to enjoy the family vacation. Sadly some of these pups get lost, which is extra stressful as they are not in a familiar location.

We recently had two visiting dogs go missing for more than a week — one was found injured but is going to be OK, while the other was found but sadly died the same night.

If you are visiting take extra precautions to keep your dogs on leash, especially when getting ready to get out of the car. Make sure your pup’s collar and leash are securely on before opening the car door. A good majority of dogs get lost when they bolt from a vehicle.

If you find a pet and it has identification tags, call the number on the tag first. If you get no response or if the pet has no tag, call El Dorado Animal Services at 530-573-7925. They will pick up the found animal and take it to the shelter until the owner is located. Keep in mind this will cost the owner some money to reclaim his or her pet. If you can hold on to the animal for a little while and would like to try find the owner, you can call the Lake Tahoe Humane Society office during business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 530-542-2857; if after hours call the 24/7 emergency number, 530-577-4521, and they will assist you.

To get the assistance of the Lake Tahoe Humane Society it is best if you can text a photo of the found or missing pet with your contact information, along with any identifying information and the area where the pet was found. They will then post it to their Facebook page, which has a very good success rate. They will not post your private information on the Facebook post as a safety precaution and will act as the middle man when the owner is found. Text information to their 24/7 emergency number — 530-577-4521.

Once the Lake Tahoe Humane Society posts your found or missing pet on Facebook, please check that posting often. Posting flyers around the community can also be helpful.

You may additionally want to place something with your pet’s scent on it outside your house; the smell will help it find its way home. If you lose your dog on a trail or out in the wild, place a dog bed or blanket in the area where the animal was last seen and check it often. Many dogs have been found this way by owners who find them snuggled up on the blankets they put out.

It’s important to note: If your pet (cat or dog) is missing, time is of the essence! Don’t wait. The sooner you report it missing, the better your chances are of retrieving your pet.

Lastly, please make sure your pets have collars with current ID tags, including contact information; please check that the tags are legible.


It’s time to submit photos of your furry family member to Lake Tahoe Humane Society’s calendar and card contest. Head online — — and click on the photo contest link, fill out the form and submit your images. It a fun way to support Lake Tahoe Humane Society and help them assist 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 or by mail to P.O. Box PET South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158. For more information, visit SocietySPCA, or

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