All too often pets go missing, and it can be a stressful, trying ordeal for both pet and owner. Knowing what to do when you have lost a pet may help ensure a quick and safe return for your furry friend, and Collier County Domestic Animal Services (DAS) is the go-to resource for responsible pet ownership.
After looking for your pet in the most obvious places, visit DAS, and remember to bring a picture of your lost pet and proof of ownership (vet records, microchip registered in your name, bill of sale or pedigree paperwork). DAS receives stray dogs and cats daily from DAS Animal Control Officers and good Samaritans. At the shelter, DAS staff will help you complete a lost pet form. An Animal Care Specialist will then walk you through the stray kennels to see if your pet has made its way to the shelter. Although it is highly recommended to come to the shelter in person, you can also check our website for lost pets.
If your pet is not brought to the shelter at first, you should post lost pet signs in the area where your pet was last seen. Come back to the shelter every one to three days or check the “Lost Pets” section of the website to see if your pet has been recovered. If your pet is not found immediately, do not give up on the search. Sometimes a pet will roam several days or more before it is recovered at the shelter.
Proactive steps should be taken to increase your chances of your pet being returned healthy and happy. Your pet should be microchipped and your contact information kept current with the microchip company. Having a current County license is required by local Ordinance and also allows you to reclaim your pet with no impound and board charges the first time it comes to the shelter. Animal Control Officers and shelter staff can use these identifiers to determine that the lost animal is yours and contact you.
Per the Animal Control Ordinance, pets must be kept on a leash when off of the owner’s property. Allowing your pet to run at large could result in a citation and a lost pet. If you have a fenced yard, ensure that the fence is intact, and your pet has no means of escape. Unsterilized pets have strong desire and will go to great lengths to find a mate, including climbing fences, digging under fences, or simply making a break for it if given the chance.
For more information on responsible pet ownership, visit www.collierpets.com, stop by the shelter at 7610 Davis Blvd., Naples, Florida 34104, or call (239) 252-7387 (PETS). For media inquiries, please call Public Information Coordinator Daniel Christenbury at (239) 252-6956.