TIPS FOR SEARCHING FOR A LOST PET
1. Call the SMAS: We can check our lost reports and see if someone has reported the animal missing. If we do not have a lost report on file, we will take information from you to file a found report, in case an owner calls looking for their pet later. You can also make arrangements to bring the pet to us and we will hold him/her for 7 days to give an owner a chance to claim their pet. If the pet does not get claimed, we will evaluate him/her for adoption.
2. Use social media: Facebook and Twitter are great ways to get the word out fast! Post a photo and brief description of the animal on your wall and ask your friends to share. The SMAS also encourages people to post lost and found pets on their Facebook wall to spread the word even further.
3. Check for a microchip: The SMAS and all three veterinarians in Oskaloosa are able to scan pets for a microchip and access the owner's contact information associated with the microchip if the pet has one.
4. Take the pet to a veterinarian: If the pet is injured or is acting ill, take the pet to a veterinarian immediately! The vet will then contact the SMAS to let us know about the situation and coordinate with us to provide veterinary care if needed.
5. Reach out to neighbors: If you find a lost pet in your neighborhood, chances are he/she belongs to someone who lives in the area and while you may not recognize the pet, one of your neighbors might. Check with your neighbors to see if the pet belongs to them or if they may know who the pet belongs to.
6. If you decide to keep the pet you found, Make sure you are abiding by the law. Iowa code states that stray animals must be held for 7 days to give owners a chance to claim them. You are certainly allowed to keep the animal with you for that 7 days, but if you do so, you MUST make a reasonable effort to find the pet's owners! The best way to do this is to file a found report with the SMAS.