People who come across a lost pet should avoid assuming it is abandoned. Accidents do happen, even to those with the best intentions, so a loose pet does not necessarily indicate a negligent owner.
Also, just because a lost pet may look matted, or in bad shape, does not always mean the pet came from a bad home. It could very well mean that the pet has been missing for some time.
If you come across a lost pet, here are some tips to help him get back to his family:
Check for a collar and tags. Even a rabies tag can help in tracking down the owners.
Talk to neighbors to see whether anyone recognizes him.
Bring him to a vet office or shelter to be scanned for a microchip.
File reports with all local animal shelters. Animals often travel far in a short amount of time, so just because you found him in your neighborhood does not mean he belongs to a neighbor.
Make “Found” posters and distribute near where the animal was found as well as to vets and groomers in the area.
Place a “Found” ad in the newspaper; these ads are usually free.
Place a “Found” ad on Craigslist and Facebook. It is a good idea to leave out some identifying information and make the owner provide that information and proof of ownership.
If you can, hold on to the animal until an owner is found. If no owner is found, and you are not ready for a new family member, then try to find a new home for the pet.
If you are unable to find the owner and cannot hold on to the pet, then bring him to the local shelter. It is best to bring the animal to the shelter nearest to where he was found, since that is likely where the owner will look.
610 STOMPERS BALL CRAWL: Animal Rescue New Orleans will be the beneficiary of the 610 Stompers’ 2014 Ball Crawl from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 7. For information and to register, visit www.610stompers.com.
SHRIMP BOIL AND DRAG SHOW: LA/SPCA will be the beneficiary of Paulie’s Shrimp Boil and Drag Show beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, June 7, at Paulie’s Pub, 810 N. Claiborne Ave. Admission is free, and there will be drink specials, $10 shrimp plates, a 50-50 raffle and more. Proceeds go to the LA/SPCA in honor of Humane Officer Eric Durcinka’s kindness and caring for the animals in the community. Call (504) 581-5552 for more info.
YAPPY HOUR: LA/SPCA will be the beneficiary of a Yappy Hour on the Patio at from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at Felipe’s Mid-City 411-1 N. Carrollton Ave. Leashed pets are welcome, and Felipe’s will donate $1 to the LA/SPCA for every margarita or sangria purchased. Call (504) 288-8226 or visit felipesneworleans.com for more info.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. In Jefferson Parish, send to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, and in St. Bernard Parish, send to email@example.com.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at arno. firstname.lastname@example.org, call (504) 571-1900 or visit www. animalrescueneworleans.org.