Don’t forget about our furry friends
As the weather gets colder and wetter, nothing says home quite like gathering around the fire or getting cozy with a blanket on the couch. After all, nobody likes to be caught out in the cold or during a hard rain.
The same goes for our four-legged friends. Stray dogs and cats can adapt to the weather in short bursts, but a winter out in the cold can be too much for many breeds.
That’s where the Humane Society of Southwest Washington (HSSW) comes to the rescue. The HSSW reunites more than 1,000 families and their lost pets on a yearly basis, both by holding strays for up to five days and by posting photos of lost pets on HSSW’s Lost and Found Stray Pets website page.
The HSSW offers several suggestions to make sure your dog or cat is quickly returned to you if they happen to get out of your home or yard:
- Microchip – An added step of insurance if your animal does run away or loses their ID tag or collar. HSSW can read the microchip if the pet is turned in and contact the owners as well as providing microchip services during regular business hours.
- ID Tag/Collar – The easiest way to provide contact information for someone if they find your lost pet is by attaching an ID Tag to their collar. Make sure the info is up to date so if a neighbor does find your animal, they can contact you quickly.
- Spay/Neuter – Animals have a natural instinct to roam, but this can be reduced by spaying or neutering your pet. This will help reduce the number of stray animals as well.
- Secure The Area – Whether it’s making sure your cat stays indoor or a fenced area for dogs to get out and stretch their legs, making sure your animals have a safe and secure area at your home will keep the chances of “escaping” to a minimum.
What happens if your pet does get lost?
The occasional dog or cat will still manage to find their way out into the great wide open. If you’ve lost your pet, the HSSW will hold it for three days if there is no ID or microchip and five days if there is an ID or microchip. Their website also offers a lot of other resources to help you and your pet get back together, including a lost pet report, a lost pet poster, and other tips for find your pet. Visit southwesthumane.org/lost-found for more information.
What to do when you’ve found a stray animal
If you’ve found a stray animal, call the HSSW to help coordinate the next steps to find the owners. This includes filing a found pet report, bringing the animal to the HSSW or even keeping the animal at your home until the owners are found. The HSSW, as well as a veterinarian, can scan the animal to see if there is a microchip or see if the family has reported a lost pet. Visit southwesthumane.org/lost-found for more information.
An advocate for animals
Rowena has a big heart for animals and advocates for their well-being whenever possible. She also works with the HSSW to help rehome dogs with loving families. If you would like to help Rowena with this worthy cause, visit southwesthumane.org/give, select a payment method and choose “Go With Ro” as the donation category.
And, as you curl up with a warm beverage on these cold and rainy nights, don’t forget to save a spot for your beloved pet.