Did you know that thousands of pets are lost every year?!? In 2018, Edmonton’s Animal Care and Control Centre had about 7000 animals from various types of species, go through their facility. Can you imagine what these domesticated pets went through while they were lost? Things happen, and we can’t always prevent pets from getting lost, but there are a few things we can do if they do accidentally get lost.
Microchipping, And What Is It?
A microchip is a radio-frequency identification transponder. It is encoded with your pet’s information, has a unique ID number, and is about the size of a grain of rice. Veterinarian’s implant the microchip underneath your pet’s skin. When a pet gets lost, animal control or any veterinarian office have special scanners that can derive the information on a pet’s microchip that will assist in their safe return. Microchips can not be lost, like city license tags, but making sure your pet has both give you a better chance at finding them should they get lost!
What To Do If You Lose Your Pet?
The City of Edmonton has a great site with resources to reference if you do lose your pet. Here are a few things you can do if you discover that your pet is lost.
- Take a look around your home, ask your neighbours if they have seen your pets, and look around your neighbourhood. You may be surprised, but many pets don’t wander very far and tend to stick close to home.
- If you can’t find your pet in your neighbourhood, the city has a database of animals that they currently have in their care. There will also be a photo attached so that pet owners can better identify their pets. The Edmonton Animal Care and Control Centre typically will hold pets 3-10 days before assessing the animals for adoption and transferring them to the Edmonton Humane Society or a local rescue.
- The Guardian Veterinary Centre will take in sick or injured animals after hours and then will bring them to Animal Control the next morning. It’s a good idea to call and see if they have admitted your pet.
- Check Social Media – There are many groups and people that post pictures of lost pets on platforms like Facebook, Kijiji, and Instagram. You can also check out the Animal Care and Control Facebook Page here.
As a dog walking company in Edmonton, we have come across a decent number of lost pets during our services. Have you ever found or have been approached by a lost pet that you didn’t know? As you could imagine, owners will be worried, panicked and frantically looking for their pets once they’ve discovered their pets are missing. Let’s take a look at what you can do if you find a lost pet. The first step before helping a stray animal is to make sure it is safe for you to do so. Then follow the steps below.
What To Do If You Find A Lost Pet
- If the pet is approachable, check their tags/collar for their owner’s contact information and call them. It’s typically easier for the pet owner if you can directly contact them and, chances are, they live close to where you first found the pet. If the pet does not have identifying tags you can bring them to any veterinarian clinic to get them scanned for a microchip.
- If the pet is not approachable, runs away, or doesn’t have ID tags, call 311 for assistance from Animal Control. Animal control will either return the pet to their residence if possible or bring them back to the care centre if need. You can also transport lost pets to the Animal Care and Control Centre, and the city of Edmonton will search for their owner.
- If you find an animal that is injured, take the animal to the nearest veterinarian clinic. Animal Care and Control will pick the pet up the next day.
Please note that Animal Control will not pick up stray cats, but they will accept them into the Care Centre. Guardian Vet Centre will not accept stray cats strictly due to limited capacity.
Being a responsible pet owner can help keep your pets safe. Let’s talk about somethings you can do to prevent your pet from getting lost, and how to help ensure they get back home safely if they do get lost.
How To Prevent Pets From Getting Lost
- Licensing your pet(s) – This links your pet information to your household and makes for easy return.
- Microchip your pet. (Can be done during spay and neuter procedure as well)
- Ensure your information is up to date.
- Keep cats inside.
- Spay and Neuter your pets – this prevents the urge to roam/mate.
- Ensure that your pets are on-leash if they do not have recall and have harnesses/collars that fit correctly.
- Supervise your pets when they are in the yard.
Not sure how to license your pet? The City of Edmonton offers an online self-help page where you can license your pet. But you can also submit an application in person or by mail. Before doing so, you will need a credit card to pay online, be 18 or older, and know the approximate birthdate, whether your pet is spayed or neutered, and microchip/tattoo number of your pet. In Edmonton, it generally costs more to license pets that are not spayed or neutered.
Wonder Where Licensing Fees Go?
The funds are used to provide food, shelter, medical care, and enrichment for pets that do get lost in Edmonton. Licensing fees also go towards supporting local rescues, maintain off-leash parks, spay/neuter programs, educational programs for pet owners, and enforcement of protection of animals.
The City of Edmonton requires that dogs and cats 6 months and older be licensed and renewed every 12 months. Did you know you can be fined up to $250 for not having a valid pet license? As a dog walking company in Edmonton, we require all pets to be licensed. In the off chance your pet does get loose, having them licensed helps the community return them home.
Contact us for more information on how we keep your pets safe during our services.