Shelter & Lost Pet Information

16 of November 2008

Why adopt a shelter dog?

Thousands of dogs and cats are euthanized each year because of irresponsible pet ownership. Between not spaying and nuetering, not doing proper research of the breed you think you want, and not retrieving your pet from the shelters, the shelters are filled beyond capacity. It does not do a pet any good to live its life in a cage. They need interaction; a family to belong to. Some shelters have to take all pets that come to their door and they have limited space. With the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance, there is now an option when shelters reach their capacity.

Getting a pet from a shelter,for me, is a no-brainer. You CAN find puppies, kittens, small, medium, large, cuddly, hairy, “hypoallergenic”, “designer breeds”, purebreeds, oldtimers, and even “land of misfit toys” dogs. I am constantly amazed when I hear that people still get dogs/puppies from the newspaper and pet stores. (aka. puppy mills) I realize it is heart breaking to go to the shelters and seeing all those dogs desparate to go home with you. Most shelters have their adoptable dogs online. So you can search for a potential family member without seeing their sad eyes and hearing their pleas.

The best time to go to the shelters is first thing in the morning. The dogs are fresh and usually calmer. Living in a shelter environment is stressful, so you have to keep that in mind. Ask the kennel workers or volunteers about the dogs. They spend the most amount of time with these guys and can give you insight into the dogs’ personalities.

What can you do to help shelters aside from adopting?

Shelters are always in need. Volunteers are the backbone of most shelters. Just going to the shelters and walking, loving on, playing with, or just paying attention to the shelter pets makes a huge difference in their lives. Shelters always need unopened pet food, towels, blankets, or just plain ‘ol cash donations.

Tips from AHA for the safe and speedy return of your wandering pet

American Humane Association believes the percentage of animals reunited with their owners would greatly increase if more pets were properly identified.

  • Be sure your pet wears an identification tag, rabies license, and city license. Include your name, address, phone number, and pet’s name.
  • Keep licenses current as they help shelters locate pet owners. If you are willing to pay a reward, put it on the tag.
  • When moving, put a temporary tag on your pet. Include a phone number of someone who will know how to reach you.
  • Don’t assume that your indoor pet doesn’t need tags. Many strays in shelters are indoor pets that escaped.
  • Purchase special cat collars with elastic bands to protect your cat from being caught in trees or on fences.
  • In addition to ID tags, consider getting your pet tattooed or microchipped.

What to do when you lose your dog or cat?

First, be proactive, always have a collar on your pet with a name tag that has your phone number. (If you are concerned about your pet being strangled by the collar, there are collars that have an easy release clasp.) Just having rabies and license tags aren’t enough. Although having your pet microchipped will eventually bring them home, not everyone knows to have them checked for a chip. Yet, I strongly believe all pets should be chipped.

As soon as you realize your pet is gone check with your neighbors. They may have them or saw which direction they went. When you start your search, get as many people as you can to help. You will have to fan out, as there is seldom an expected direction a pet will head. Search in the evening, when it’s quiet. Call or whistle. (If your pet is injured or frightened, he may be hiding) Drive around the neighborhood; a dog will sometimes recognize the sound of your car. Next you should call your local animal shelters and report them lost. As you are doing this, check their found animals. Post signs around your neighborhood with a picture. Take these flyers to local businesses and pet businesses. (veterinarian, groomer, and pet supply)

2251 Kearney St. | Denver, Colorado 80207 | 720.333.5839