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lost pet prevention month 2019

Posted By SLCo Animal Services
June 20, 2019

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One of the scariest experiences you can have is to lose your animal. At Salt Lake County Animal Services, we try to help reunite owners and pets as quick as possible. July 5th is historically the busiest day in shelters due to pets going missing because of the fear of fireworks on the Fourth of July. Here in Utah with Pioneer Day at the end of July we have a higher intake on the 25th of July as well.

July seems like a perfect month to highlight this issue, but potential lost pets exponentially increase during the summer due to warmer weather and travel, so it is important to always be well informed and know what to do if your pet goes missing.

There are many reasons that pets get lost, the best way for you to help a lost pet is to prevent the animal from going missing in the first place. Your pet should have an identification tag attached to their collar with contact information and a properly sized collar. You should be able to fit 2 fingers between a dog’s neck and a collar. Cats often need a breakaway collar to ensure their safety in case of jumping a fence this can make keeping tags on them difficult. This is a good example of why a microchip can be effective in helping your pet find their way home.

Microchipping is an effective way to keep tabs on your pet and help them find their way home. A microchip is a tiny device implanted with a shot that when scanned will match up your contact information in a database. It is very important that you keep your data updated and accurate with the Microchip company and your local shelter. Approximately half of pet owners don’t submit their contact information or keep it accurate rendering the device useless.

If your pet does go missing, start looking immediately. The longer you wait, the lower your chances are of recovering your furry friend. Post fliers, talk to neighbors, visit your local shelter and post on known social media sites.

If you find a lost animal the law states, you must bring the animal to your local animal control within 24 hours. This is the best chance that the animal will have of being reunited with its family. This is where they will go to look. The animal will remain at the shelter for a stray wait period and if the owner does not come in to redeem their pet then the animal will be placed up for adoption.

As mentioned, more dogs tend to run away on the 4th of July than any other day of the year and here in Utah we must also worry about the 24th of July with Pioneer Day being celebrated.

Here are some suggestions to create a safe, calm environment for your dog on these days.

*Always keep your dog on leash when out of the home.

*Create a safe space such as a crate or small room during the festivities.

*Make sure your pet is wearing a visible and up-to-date Id tag on their collar.

*Make sure your animals microchip information is up-to-date

*Get in some exercise earlier in the day and make sure your dog has had a chance to get out and use the bathroom before the festivities begin

*Mask the noise. Play soft music in the room where your dog is at, close the doors, windows and blinds to block out noises and lights. You can also stay in with your pets and watch a movie to help dampen the outside sounds.

*Use a calming aid

*Give your pet something to do such as toys, puzzles, and treats.

Lost pet statistics are grim. One in three pets will go missing in his or her lifetime, and less than 20% of dogs and 2% of cats will return home. Prevention is key. If your pet needs to be microchipped, you can drop into Salt Lake County Animal Services at 511 W 3900 S, and get a free microchip if you live in Salt Lake County. 

We hope you and your pets have a happy and safe month.