You see a cat or dog wandering about with no human in sight. You’re concerned about his safety. Being a compassionate person, of course, you want to help… even if you are on vacation or just passing through the area.

Sometimes those who “find” a stray animal aren’t always following the best practices to help get the pet back home. The best thing to do is try to locate his/her parent before whisking it away. If found in a neighborhood, first approach some of the neighbors and ask them if they recognize the dog/cat. With social media, it’s easy to find a local message board and post the found pet there as well. If this is not feasible or if no one recognizes him – contact the nearest animal shelter and, with them, determine the most appropriate next step.

Do not put the pet in your vehicle and continue on to your intended destination. Sometimes a good samaritan will pick up a pet, and take it to a shelter they are familiar with and trust. That means a pet can end up miles away from where they were found- sometimes on the other side of the state. Transporting a lost animal to your “preferred” rescue or shelter creates undue stress for the pet and greater obstacles to getting the pet safely home.PUDDLE

Bringing a pet to a different town or region from where it was found severely diminishes the chance of them being reunited with their people. Families looking for their pets call local shelters, veterinarian offices, and law enforcement/animal control. Someone who lost their dog in Ridgway is unlikely to call Denver looking for it. In fact, transporting an unknown pet that far from where it was found could be considered stealing a pet.

A note to pet parents- if you want to stack the odds for your pet to get back to you if ever lost – make sure your pet has a microchip as well as a secure form of identification at all times. The pets that come into our shelter with a microchip are the ones that usually go home that same day.

My name is Ray. I’m a good-looking guy with my flame point markings and blue eyes. I got away from my people, and no one ever came to claim me. I have a bit of an attitude, but can also be a sweet cat when I decide I want to be.

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Shops have served San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. Adoption hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 5:30 pm. View our shelter pets and services online: