Saturday, August 18, 2012

FAQ for Stray, Wayward, & Lost Pets

FAQ for Stray, Wayward, & Lost Pets (via @SEPRR)

When anyone finds a Wayward Pet, the course of action is straightforward:

Part One: Finding the Pet's Owner:
1- Secure & safely isolate the animal. Provide a quiet warm location with Bedding, Water, something to chew on, and basic food.
2- Call, Text, AND Email the Contacts on the Tags. (Do all 3!)
3- Visit any vet clinic;Scan for a Microchip. (If there is a MicroChip, the Vet will often secure the pet until it's owner arrives. Your work is done!)

Note: In ITP Atlanta, PetSmart is open on Saturdays. Pets Are People Too behind Ansley Mall is open 24/7.
4- Take Some Pictures and then Empower Your Posts! 15 minute Social Media Primer for Pet Rescuers:
5- Post the pictures to a Public Album. (Note: FB requires a user login even if the Album is Public. Google+ is truly public, not requiring a login. Hence, post the photos to G+. )

If all these efforts fail:
Eventually, you will have to take your Wayward Pet to Animal Services. When doing so, Stress to Intake Personnel the Pet is a Stray and NOT "Owner Turn In"

Want to know more? Owner Turn-In's can be Euthanized the same day. Strays have a 7 Day hold / owner recovery period. After which time, the animal is "reviewed" (the "Review Date") given a list of circumstances that may or may have anything at all to do with the disposition or health of the pet, the pet can then be euthanized on or after the Review Date. Groups like BHVF raise money so the Pets can be held for adoption after the Review Date has passed, however there is a finite number of pets that can be held for an extended period of time, and the number varies based upon available resources of money, space, fosters, and volunteers. So fostering is a good way to help these pets live and find a home. Usually all the pets need is a bit of extra time to find a home. Policies can and do vary over time.

Part Two:  Rescuing the Pet after surrender to Animal Services:
  • If you plan on making sure the pet survives or is more easily rescued, please consider administering a round of shots before surrendering to Animal Services. Rescues spend most of the funding on vet bills for pets that contracted a condition in animal control. Why? Animals are not usually given shots in any animal control. Fulton County often will thanks to BHVF funding & other grants, but you will need to double check before you turn them in. 

    Want to know more? Processing in Animal Service is a legal requirement that clears any claim of title the prior owner may have had if the prior owner fails to recover the animal within the Owner Reclaim period. This is enables the animal to be adopted by new owners without the possibility of the prior owner suing for custody of the pet.

  • Identify a Foster with a Rescue Group Willing to Foster the Pet.
  • Apply to become a Foster
- Angels is a very good organization that handles cats & dogs of any age/breed/mix (Fostering with Angels)
- Friends of Fulton County Animal Services now has a solid fostering program Contact Robbie Caban, FCAS Volunteer Coordinator for an application.
  • Promote the Pet to find a Rescue or Foster: Use this article to empower your Social Media reach and save your new Furry Friend!

Want to know more? Rescue groups focus their efforts on homeless pets on death row in Kill Shelters. While Atlanta Humane Society does kill some pets during the intake process, it is not considered a Kill Shelter. The difference is simply the level of killing that takes place.  View 2009 Animal Control Statistics for GA here.  Even with so-called No Kill Shelters, consider the fate of a pet that arrives after the No Kill Shelter is full? That animal will likely be redirected to a "Kill Shelter" unless immediate fostering/rescue resources can be secured. 

Suffice it to say, that
given limited resources of rescues, if the pet is not already on death row, a rescue will not be able to bring (or "pull") the pet into their network without you personally stepping up to foster the pet.

Simply opening your home to the pet as a foster parent and shuttling them to/from adoption events is sufficient.

Find a pet rescue near you:
For your own sanity, find a rescue with pet adoption events close to your homeVisit the larger pet stores near your home and ask the store manager for the rescue groups contact info that hold events at that store. Then apply directly to those groups, then pull the dog yourself as a qualified foster into the rescue. Make sure they have frequent adoption events so you can show off your foster! 

When Apply to become a Foster, ask the Rescue for all the items the pet will need: A kennel, animal ID#, a supply of food, existing health records, medications, leashes, the direct link on the website where the pet is listed ( etc), schedule of remaining vet appointments, location of the vet, and a list of upcoming adoption events.

For our Furry Friends!

Bryan "Beau" Grant
Co-Founder, Fix Georgia Pets

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