Have you found pet?
Be aware that it may take a while – from several hours to several weeks – to locate the pet’s owner. Decide how long you can reasonably keep the pet. Do as much as possible to get the pet home in the time you have, and plan for what you’ll do if no owner is found in that amount of time.
Check the pet for owner information. Be sure to examine the collar or harness – some tags mount flat to a collar or are engraved/embroidered into the material. If you see contact information of any kind, contact the owner ASAP. If there’s no answer but you’re able to leave a message, be sure to leave your own phone number in the message. Keep your phone with you and check periodically for missed calls. A rabies tag is good news and can sometimes be traced through shelter or vet records.
If the pet has no useful tags, take the pet to a veterinarian or shelter and have it scanned for a microchip for free. If the pet does have a microchip, be sure to have them write down the microchip number and the company who made it. Call the microchip company and follow their instructions.
If the pet has no ID of any kind, spread the word to everyone you can reach. If at all possible, take a picture of the pet. Post the photo on local lost-and-found sites, and around your neighborhood. A good place to start is with Facebook groups or bulletin boards for specific neighborhoods. Also contact the shelter at (662) 287-5800 or send us a Facebook message. We will share the found pet information and a photo on our Facebook page. When people lose a pet, them often contact the shelter. Also check the Daily Corinthian classifieds for lost and found pets.
Unfortunately, some people try to claim pets for resale to research laboratories or dog fighters, so leave some identifying information out of your post, such as the pet’s sex, collar, or a distinctive marking that doesn’t show in the photo. Anyone trying to claim the pet should be able to tell you this information. Ask them to provide pictures of the pet to prove it’s theirs, and ask questions phrased in general terms: “Can you tell me about your dog’s markings?” instead of “Does your dog have a spot on its ear?”
Spread your message further with posters or flyers. The site missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-tips/ is a great resource for constructing a sturdy, highly visible weatherproof poster that can be read and understood by all kinds of viewers. If you’re unsure of something, be descriptive instead of guessing. A Toy Poodle owner might not realize that an ad for a “Maltese mix” is their dog, but one for a “small white dog” would catch their attention.
If no owner is found and you can’t keep the pet, then you should contact the shelter at (662) 287-5800 to schedule a intake time. Due to space issues, the Corinth-Alcorn Animal Shelter is a limited-intake facility. The shelter is almost always overburdened and usually full. Because of contracts, the shelter must receive all animals captured by City of Corinth animal control, Alcorn County Board of Supervisors and City of Farmington animal control. The shelter can not intake all animals from the public due to space and contractual agreements. Sometimes intake appointments are scheduled several weeks out due to space issues. Some individuals are also asked to be added to a “wait list.” When we can accept a dog or cat for intake into the shelter, a intake fee of $15 will be charged even for a found pet. Plus, just because you have surrendered the pet doesn’t mean you must give up: you can still post photos, spread fliers and contact rescue groups while the pet is housed at the shelter.
Under NO circumstances should you “put the pet back where you found it” or turn it loose. Not only is this illegal, it’s incredibly cruel to the pet. A loose pet is at risk of being hit by a car, ingesting toxic substances, being picked up by dog fighters or sellers, being attacked by larger strays, being shot at, catching parasites and diseases and slow starvation. Dumping any pet is abandonment, and you can be prosecuted for it under animal cruelty laws.
When you pick up a pet, its life is in your hands. Be responsible and humane, and treat it the way you would want someone to treat your own pet.
Have you lost a pet?
Here are some steps to help you search effectively and make the most of local resources to find your pet.
If your pet has identification on its collar, be sure to keep your phone with you – if someone finds your pet and tries to contact you, you’ll want to be ready to catch the call. The same goes if your pet has a microchip; call the microchip company to report your pet as lost, and stand by for a call back.
Search the area where your pet was last seen. Be thorough – knock on doors and ask permission to check backyards or likely areas. Look in small places like gaps between fences or houses, under porches, etc. – anywhere your pet would fit. Be sure to walk calmly and don’t shout. Pets who are lost behave differently; your pet is unlikely to respond to his name when lost, and yelling could scare him into running further away. For lost cats, check out www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-tips/lost-cat-behavior/ for guidelines that match your specific situation and lots of good information on how to recover your feline friend.
Spread the word. The more eyes looking for your pet, the better its chance of being found. Make large posters to put up in the area where the pet was last seen. Post photos or a description on lost and found sites and Facebook groups. Also contact the shelter at (662) 287-5800 or send us a Facebook message. We will share the lost pet information and a photo on our Facebook page. When people find a pet, they often contact the shelter.You can create a lost poster at missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-tips/. Also check the Daily Corinthian classifieds for lost and found pets.
Take a poster to the shelter and go in person to the shelter at least every couple of days and walk through all areas. Going personally is the best way to make sure your pet isn’t overlooked or mislabeled. Check with your vet and groomer, and with any other vets, groomers, pet stores or emergency vets in the area. People who find a pet often bring them to these places, either to check for a microchip or for an exam before bringing the animal into their home. Bring a flyer and ask them if you can post it in their lobby. Don’t lose hope! Persistence is key. Pets have been recovered weeks, months and even years after getting lost.