When dealing with lost and found animals there are many resources available to help owners be reunited with their lost loved ones. Below is a list of suggestions and tools to help in the event that you have lost your pet or found someone else's pet.
LOST & FOUND DOGS
HSCC can only take in stray dogs from local animal control and law enforcement. If you have lost or found a dog, you must contact the animal control officer or police department for the town where the dog was found.
Vermont state law mandates that stray dogs must be held at the animal control facility in the town they were found for a mandatory period (determined by the town, usually one week) before coming to HSCC. This mandatory holding period is provided to allow owners of missing dogs to claim their pets and retain ownership. After this period, the original owner loses legal ownership of the dog, and animal control is free to make all decisions regarding its future. If the dog is brought to HSCC, HSCC is given full legal ownership of the dog.
IF YOU HAVE LOST A CAT OR DOG
Immediately search your property as both cats and dogs often seek a safe spot near or around your home. These spaces can often be tiny little crevices, so searching thoroughly is recommended.
Alert your neighbors and promptly take the below measures to ensure the highest likelihood of a safe return:
- If it’s a dog, contact your town Animal Control Officer or Police Department. All found or stray dogs are held in the town holding facility to allow owners to reclaim them. HSCC does not take in stray or found dogs directly from the public.
- Walk your neighborhood and call the animal's name frequently - taking the time to pause and listen. Try this several times during the day, especially when the neighborhood is quiet. Try bringing a tasty treat or perhaps your dog's favorite squeaky toy along with you.
- Place familiar household-scented articles outside to attract your pet. You may also want to try setting up a little shelter with a familiar bed or blanket inside.
- Post information and a picture of your pet on the Lost and Found Animals of Vermont Facebook page.
- Post flyers within a 3-mile radius (be sure to include local vets).
- Post online/place an ad (i.e. Craigslist.com, Front Porch Forum, and the classifieds in your local paper (most lost pet ads are free of charge). Be sure to include the name, location where the animal went missing, photo, and any other detailed information about your pet (age, gender, collar, unique markings, etc.).
- Frequently check the Found Animals section of your local paper, online classifieds, Front Porch Forum and the Lost and Found Animals of Vermont Facebook page.
- Any stray cats or stray small animals brought in to HSCC will be posted on our Facebook page and stored in the Stray Cats & Stray Small Animals brought to HSCC album. All stray cats & stray small animals will be held at HSCC for 5-business days in order to allow their owner to claim them. We require proof of ownership in the form of ID, photos, and vet records. There is a Return-to-Owner fee which helps cover the expenses incurred while the animal is in our care. If an animal is not claimed within the 5-day hold, the animal will become the property of HSCC and will be moved through our program.
- If your pet is micro-chipped, notify the company with whom the chip is registered (most companies provide assistance in getting the word out about a lost pet, if you are a current member).
IF YOU HAVE FOUND A CAT OR COMPANION SMALL ANIMAL (not wildlife)
- Speak with your neighbors to see if the animal belongs to them or if they know who it might belong to.
- Post information and a picture of the found animal on the Lost and Found Animals of Vermont Facebook page.
- Post flyers within a 3-mile radius of where it was found (be sure to include local vets).
- Place an ad/post online (i.e. Craigslist.com, Front Porch Forum, the classifieds section of your local paper (most lost pet ads are free of charge). Be sure to include the name, location where the animal was found, a photo, and any other detailed information about the animal (type of animal, size, collar, color, unique markings, etc.).
- Frequently check the Lost Animals section of your local paper, online classifieds, Front Porch Forum and Lost and Found Animals of Vermont Facebook page.
- Bring the animal to your local vet or animal shelter to check for a microchip.
- In the state of Vermont, animals are considered property. For this reason, we have to be very mindful of not taking in owned animals. This is why we require that you post signs & online notifications before scheduling an appointment with us. If the animal is in emergent need of medical care, please call us and we will do our best to guide you to where you can get help. Once you have tried to locate an owner, and if the cat or small mammal is still around, call us at (802) 862-0135 to speak with us about scheduling an intake appointment. For more information about bringing us a pet, click here.