This sweet pooch shown here with his happy “big brother” had escaped the yard and been picked up and taken to Franklin County Dog Shelter in Columbus, OH. His family had posted his picture on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. Fortunately, Nicole, one of our Facebook followers, spotted him at the shelter, remembered his post and alerted the family. A happy reunion ensued.
CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Most lost pets are reunited through a shelter.
REALITY CHECK: Relatively few strays are reclaimed before being euthanized or adopted out to others.
According to a study done by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) only 17-30% of dogs in shelters are ever reclaimed by their owners and only 2-5 % of cats. Why so few? Basically it’s a question of timing. At most shelters, dogs and especially cats can be held for only a limited time. If the pet’s family isn’t there at the critical time…. that pet will either be put down or adopted out. Most shelters do not post their intakes to a public database. Most owners cannot check the shelters as often as necessary and it is generally useless to just call or even send a flyer. You must go to a shelter in person and see for yourself. In a large urban shelter there may be hundreds of cats and / or dogs impounded at any time. Please encourage your local shelter to take advantage of the free, searchable database at petfbi.org.