We’ve all seen dogs and cats who have decided to wander and explore areas outside their home. But what should you do if you find one at large? Here are some tips that can help next time you see a lost pet:
If you see a stray cat or dog, try to capture and contain the animal ONLY if circumstances permit and then call the Animal Control Officer. Never put yourself in harm’s way by attempting to capture an animal that is behaving aggressively. If you cannot safely approach the animal or if it runs away, call animal control or police department (if after hours and an emergency) immediately. Be sure to give the exact street address where the animal was last seen.
Once you have contained the lost pet (if you’ve been able to), check to see if the animal is wearing any ID. If so, you may be able to immediately contact the owner and return the pet to him or her. If the pet is wearing ID, but you are unable to immediately make contact with the owner, call Animal Control.
If the pet is not wearing an ID tag, the best course of action is to call the animal control to pick it up and transport it to the shelter where it will be scanned for a microchip. If the animal is chipped, then we will be able to immediately look up the owner’s contact information by calling the microchip company or accessing the microchip database online.
If the animal has no ID tag or microchip, its best chance of being reunited with its owner is generally at an animal shelter. The shelter is the one obvious place where owners are likely to look for lost pets.
Take a photo of the animal and post it on any social media sites and state when and where you found the animal. Be sure to state that the animal is now at BAPS and the owner can contact us to claim their pet. Lastly, if you do find the owner, as a courtesy, please remember to contact any offices that the found animal was reported to and update all found posters/posts on social media so that they can be removed.
Who you Gonna Call?…
If you live within City limits, please call the Animal Control Officer at 403-793-7840 or alternatively 403-362-2331.
If you live outside of the City and within the County of Newell, please call the Animal Control Officer at 403-362-3266.
If it is an after hours emergency, please call 9-1-1.
What about wildlife?
According to the laws of Alberta, only legally permitted wildlife rehabilitators may possess injured, sick or orphaned wildlife. If you have found distressed wildlife, it is important that you contact a licensed rehabilitator immediately and make arrangements for the animal to be transferred to a rehabilitation centre. They will be able to advise you on what to do in your specific case.
Please call the Wildlife Helpline at 1-888-924-2444.
For further information on wildlife rehabilitation, please visit the Alberta Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association website by clicking here.