|Losing a member of your pet family is a very stressful and upsetting event. Try to stay focused and organized about the steps you need to take in locating your pet. Do not give up hope as some animals will go missing for weeks, months and even years before they are found.
- If your pet is wearing an ID tag with your phone number on it, make sure you are available to answer your phone.
- Search the neighborhood surrounding your home as your pet may not have traveled far. Ask your neighbors, postal carriers, and delivery drivers if they have seen an animal matching your pet's description.
- Visit the City of Visalia Animal Shelter as soon as possible. Animal Services Officers pick up many lost pets every day and they may have already picked up yours. When you visit our facility, tour the entire shelter and look through the lost and found binders located in the front office.
- Complete a lost pet report
- If your pet is microchipped, register the microchip number with the Shelter staff, in addition to the microchip manufacturer.
- If your pet is licensed in the City of Visalia, call and confirm that your information is current and inform us of any additional contact phone numbers.
- Continue checking with Animal Care Services daily by either coming into the shelter, or calling (559) 651-1111 for the daily listing of found animals
- Make "Lost Pet" flyers with a picture of your pet and post them around your neighborhood and bulletin boards in the local grocery stores and feed stores. Include your pets name, the date and area you are missing your pet from. Make tabs at the bottom of your sign with your name and phone number in between cut dotted lines.
- Check with local Veterinarians to see if someone has brought in a found pet.
- Advertise in the lost pet section of your local newspapers and check the found pets column.
- There are many sites on the internet you can check. Just type in "Lost Pets" or "Missing Pets" on your favorite search engine. Many people advertise lost and found pets on Craigslist.com.
Whatever you do, don't give up!
FOUND PET TIPS
If you find a pet, please do not assume that it has been abandoned or abused. Many times pets have gone missing for long periods of time and may appear neglected or scared. They could have been stolen from their rightful owners and have gotten away weeks or even months later in a completely different area from which they were taken.
Many pets now have a microchip implanted under the skin that enables them to be returned to their owner. A microchip is a permanent form of identification that can only be detected when the animal is scanned.
What do I do if I see a pet running loose?
For your safety, do not attempt to catch a scared pet or try to stop traffic when a pet is running in the road as you may be bitten by the pet or hit by oncoming cars. Contact Animal Services Field dispatch at (559) 713-4957. Animal Services Officers are trained to handle scared pets and have the emergency lighting to warn oncoming cars of the hazard.
What do I do if I have someone's pet?
Call (559) 713-4957 to have an Animal Services Officer pick the pet up or bring it to City of Visalia Animal Services Center. Animal Services staff are trained to handle all kinds of animals and provide the care needed to keep them safe while waiting for their owner.
** Since there is no law prohibiting cats from roaming loose, Animal Services Officer's do not respond to calls for loose cats unless they are injured or sick. Contained stray cats may still be brought to the shelter Monday through Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
Why should I bring the pet to the shelter?
The animal services shelter is the lost and found for all pets in the City of Visalia. Pet owners call and come into the shelter every day looking for their lost pet. Pets are photographed and their pictures put on our website for owners to see. This website information is updated hourly. Owners provide proof of ownership and rabies vaccinations before their pet is released to them. This verifies that the correct person is picking up the pet.
What will happen to the pet?
If the Animal Services Officer picks the pet up and it has ID, the officer will make every reasonable effort to return it home rather than bringing it into the shelter. If the pet comes into the shelter, Animal Services staff will examine the pet for any medical conditions, vaccinate it against common diseases, and scan for a microchip. If the pet needs medical care, a veterinarian will care for it. A picture of the pet will go onto our website so the owner can see that it is here. The pet will be held for a minimum of five days for the owner to claim.
What if the pet has Identification?
If the pet has ID or a microchip, front office staff will contact the owner by phone daily and mail a letter if contact cannot be made by phone. An officer will also be sent out to the address if contact is not made or the owner fails to show.
What happens if the owner doesn't claim the pet?
If the owner does not claim the pet, it can be adopted through the Valley Oak SPCA, which provides adoption services for all unclaimed animals in the City of Visalia. Unfortunately, if the owner does not claim the pet and a rescue or adopter does not want the pet, then shelter may need to euthanize. The City of Visalia Animal Services Center will hold a pet as long as possible before euthanizing.
I don't want the pet euthanized, what can I do?If you are concerned about the outcome of a pet that you have found, you can request the animal id number and follow up on its condition. Simply ask for its animal id number from the officer picking the pet up or the office staff when you drop the pet off . You can contact the Valley Oak SPCA and ask to be put on the list to adopt the pet at the end of the stray period. You can also call the shelter on the 5th day to see if the owner has claimed the pet. If you know of someone who would like to adopt it, have them call the SPCA and ask to be put on the adoption list.
I don't want to take the pet to the shelter or I want to keep it.
The State of California considers pets as property. Keeping someone's pet, not only causes the owner much heartache, but could potentially get you into legal trouble with the owner. Many pets are microchipped now and this is a permanent form of identification and ownership. If you would like to keep the pet, bring it to City of Visalia Animal Services for its mandatory holding period and then legally adopt it through the Valley Oak SPCA if the owner does not come for it.
Thank you for assisting Animal Care Services with reuniting lost pets with their owners!!