A pair of yellow labs took Tri-Cities Animal Control officers on an adventure after apparently being spooked by fireworks on July 4th.
Animal shelters reported a busy day Wednesday as pet owners filed missing and lost pet reports and good Samaritans reported finding wayward animals.
Lost and stray pets fall under the jurisdiction of local animal control agencies, which spent the day processing reports, welcoming new arrivals and scouring social media sites hoping to match found animals with missing ones.
By midday, the Tri-Cities shelter, serving Richland, Kennewick and Pasco, had taken in 14 spooked dogs and three cats. Six were reunited with their families. For those that remained, identifying their owners proved a challenge, which was the case with the labs.
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Angela Zilar, director of Tri-Cities Animal Control and its related shelter, said the agency received multiple reports about the two dogs, who were clearly well cared for.
They were first reported roaming in Pasco around the Post Office near Road 36 and Court Street. By the time animal control officers caught up with them, they’d made it to West Sylvester Street and Highway 395.
There’s good news and bad for the handsome canines.
The good: Both were microchipped, which dramatically improves the odds of a happy reunion.
The bad: The microchip company was so overwhelmed by Fourth of July calls that the shelter had a hard time getting through to find out the owners’ names.
It did get the names, but by afternoon hadn’t reached the registered owners. Zilar fears they may be out of town and unaware their dogs are even missing.
Zilar said the relatively small number of animals that made it to the shelter is the tip of the iceberg for missing pets. She spent much of the day on Facebook, Craigslist and other sites looking for posts about missing pets.
The challenge, she said, is there is no one clear place to post missing pet notices. She’s found animals listed in the lost and found and in garage sale sites.
“There are lots of lost and found reports,” she said.
Turning found pets into the shelter is the fastest way to expedite reunions with families. Zilar said that in her 10-plus years, the shelter has never euthanized an animal that arrived after going missing on the Fourth.
This year, the shelter is relative empty after a Seattle rescue group took a batch of dogs to be adopted on the west side of the mountains.
Lost animals have the best chance of returning to their families if they have tags or microchips. Those missing pets should contact their local animal control center.