Wellington Shire Council is reminding community members on the most appropriate way to report a lost pet.
Social media ‘Lost and Found’ sites, such as Facebook, are being increasingly used to reunite lost pets with their owners however, the use of social media sites can present certain risks that should be taken into consideration.
How do you know the person claiming ownership of the pet is the owner? Animal ownership can only be verified by checking the animal’s registration and microchip details.
Is the animal’s welfare at risk? Wandering animals are commonly at risk of road trauma and the animal may be regularly escaping with the owner not taking any action to prevent this.
What is the animals’ history? Whilst the animal may appear good natured, it may pose a risk to other animals or people.
Wellington Shire Council General Manager Development John Websdale says, “Wellington Shire Council rangers or staff at Animal Aid in Sale, who manage Council’s pound and animal shelter, are the best option to use to ensure a lost pet is reunited with its owner.
“They ensure that a pet’s welfare is not at risk, that other animals or people are not at risk and that the owner has been correctly identified.”
There are many myths about calling a ranger or taking an animal to a shelter. These include:
If a ranger is called, they will take the animal to a shelter to be put down.
Shelters only keep an animal for a certain number of days and then they are euthanised.
Wellington Shire and Animal Aid in Sale work closely together to ensure animals are reunited with their owners. Here are some of the facts:
Around 85% of impounded dogs are reunited with their owners within two days. In many cases, a ranger will directly return a registered and identifiable animal home unless there is a history of the animal wandering or the owner is uncontactable.
Only 1 in 4 cats are reunited with their owners. This is largely due to a lack of identification, such as microchipping.
Animals not claimed are veterinary and temperament tested and in most cases made available for adoption.
There are no time limits on how long an animal stays with Animal Aid. Some animals can take up to twelve months to find a ‘pawfect’ match with their new family.
If you find an animal and wish to adopt it if not claimed, you can register your interest. If the animal passes its health and temperament checks, you may adopt it.
Further information on reuniting pets can be found on Council’s website www.wellington.vic.gov.au/Living-in-Wellington/Animals-and-Pets/Lost-and-Impounded-Animals or Animal Aid Gippsland’s website www.animalaid.org.au/