Shelters can help lost pets find their way back home

Oct 03, 2017
Colby is a chocolate lab who came to the shelter as a stray.

It’s an age-old problem: what to do if your beloved pet wanders away from home? Beyond simply standing in your backyard and hollering for him, there are a few things you can do to improve the odds of bringing him safely back into the fold. You can ask your neighbors to keep a lookout for your furry friend. You can post your pal's picture on social media. And there’s one more thing you can do that you might not think of: Call your local animal shelter. There’s every chance a Good Samaritan — or animal control officer — has picked up your little wanderer and brought him to a shelter.

Colby was one of those escape artists who was picked up as a stray and brought to us. We thought his owners would call or come by, but no one ever came. Colby did have some skin issues, and maybe his owners didn’t have the wherewithal to deal with them. But once the six-day holding period for stray dogs had elapsed and he became officially ours, we treated his skin with medication and baths and put him on a “cooling" diet of fish, turkey and duck. In no time, his skin began to heal, and a truly amazing chocolate Lab emerged. Colby is happy, healthy, playful, super-friendly and more than ready to find a loving home. Maybe yours?

Forrest is another charmer who somehow got separated from his previous owner. Arriving at P.A.W.S. on the first day of fall, he was already neutered, so he had to have once been someone's cat. Sadly, though, no one seemed to miss him enough to look for him, and when the legal holding period (only 48 hours for cats) ended, he, too, became ours. This big boy has a great personality, and although he would love to continue his adventures in the great outdoors, history suggests that, from now on, he’d best remain indoors.

If you have a four-legged friend who likes to pull the occasional disappearing act, you may want to consider having him or her microchipped. Although not a tracking device, a microchip makes it a lot more likely you’ll get Fido or Fluffy back, should he or she wind up at a shelter. Shelter personnel can scan the chip, get your phone number from the company the chip is registered with, and contact you to come retrieve your pet. At P.A.W.S. we offer microchipping for only $25 per animal. Just call us at 236-8702 in advance and let us know when you’d like to come in.

In the meantime, don’t forget Colby and Forrest and the many other eminently adoptable pets currently waiting for you at P.A.W.S.! Meet them in person at the shelter, 123 John St., Camden, or check them out online at our website,

Forrest had a home once, and he would love to have one again.
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