Back to top

Lost or Stray? Getting Lost Pets Back To Their Families

   
Every year, millions of dogs and cats end up escaping from their loving homes, and are never able to be reunited with their owners. While some end up being taken in by a good Samaritan and raised in a new family, others meet a more unfortunate fate, being euthanized in overpopulated shelters, or being forced to survive harsh conditions out in the wild.
 
There’s a great deal that pet parents can do to keep their furry friends safe and to keep them from becoming casualties of getting lost in the very large world out there, it’s important to remember there’s a great deal that you can do, should you come across a pet that appears to be lost and looking for a home.
Unfortunately, many will pick up a pet and simply drive him to the local pound or shelter, or if the pet seems hostile or aggressive, will call animal control. Unless the pet has been microchipped or is wearing identification that allows authorities to contact the owners, he will be put into the system. After three days, pets are typically put up for adoption.
 
If a pet is not deemed suitable for adoption, due to advanced age, health issues, or an aggressive temperament, he may be euthanized after the three day waiting period. This is a tragedy that happens all too often, because the number of homeless dogs and cats far exceeds the number of people willing to adopt. This is especially the case if a professional rules that an animal is feral, has special needs, poses a danger to others, or is either mentally or physically ill, and not fit for adoption.
 
One of the best ways to protect your pet from falling into this trap is to add tags to your pet that describes his or her temperament. “Anxious, not aggressive” and “Fearful, not feral”, may keep your beloved pet from being euthanized as a threatening or predatory animal, simply because he is uncooperative around people. If you own a breed known to be aggressive, such as a Pit Bull or Rotweiller, you should consider a tag that says “Lover, Not A Fighter!” or “Good With Families!”, so that your dog isn’t unfairly judged simply on breed and appearance alone.
 
When it comes to particularly friendly, outgoing pets, or small adorable bundles of fur, you may face a different problem. A well-meaning Good Samaritan may assume that your pet is a stray or abandoned animal looking for a new home, and adopt him into a brand-new family. Fortunately, even if your pet shows up missing his tags and collar, the first trip to the vet will allow the rescuer to get in touch with you, if you’ve taken the precaution of having him microchipped.
 
It is essential that your pet wears his tags and collar at all times when going outside. Even if you’re extremely cautious, you always need to prepare to unexpected disaster, and the easier it is to identify your furry friend, the greater your chances of being reunited. PetHub helps provide one more extra service that brings wayward pets and their owners back together, by allowing anyone to register their pet on the website and order a tag, complete with a unique code. The code can be entered on the website by anyone with a computer, or scanned with a mobile device, immediately pulling up the pet’s profile page. If he has gone missing, you can put up a missing pet alert, so that your contact information is available to any would-be rescuers who have come across your pet’s PetHub tag. It is just one of many ways in which technology is making it a simpler task to reunite lost pets with the families that love and miss them.
 
If you come across a lost dog wandering on your property, or an insistent cat meowing at your back door, taking the time to give him food, water, medical care, or a ride to your veterinarian is certainly the kind thing to do. However, before you let a new animal into your home, or simply abandon him at the pound, it’s important that you consider him as a lost pet instead of a stray animal. Each year, millions of lost pets are never reunited with someone who is out there looking for them, so take the time to utilize any and all resources at your disposal before making an assumption.
 
Taking the time to do so may just bring a happy family back together.