Lost and Found?: Miami-Dade County Urges Community to Prevent Overcrowded Shelters

Amidst a strain on shelter capacity in local shelters, Miami-Dade Animal Services encourages South Florida to do what they can to assist

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While Miami-Dade County Animal Services remains committed to keeping your four-legged family members safe in times of need, they are asking for a little extra help this summer season.

During the summer months and especially surrounding July 4th, local shelters experience a significant influx in pet capacity.

This year, however, this increase is being felt "more than ever," with animals being held in portable kennels in conference rooms as a result of the overcrowd.

To alleviate the strain this will have on shelters and pets alike, the county is asking for your help—this summer, take the extra step and learn how to prevent your pet getting lost and what to do if you find someone else's.

How can I prevent my pet getting lost?

In order to protect your pet as best as possible, the county encourages pet owners to take the right steps towards keeping them where they belong: at home.

One crucial way to do this is by purchasing a reliable collar and a custom tag with up-to-date contact information.

Another is to receive a microchip for your pet as soon as you get it, and to register this with contact information that you plan to maintain.

What do I do if my pet does get lost?

In the event that your dog does become lost, animal services advises pet owners to check their local shelters. In addition, browse 24PetConnect daily to see if your pet has been found by someone nearby.

As well as this, the department stresses the importance of word of mouth: put up flyers around town, post pictures on social media and other outlets for finding missing pets.

If I find a missing pet, what should I do?

While a person's first inclination when finding a missing pet is normally to bring them to a shelter, the current overcapacity changes this course of action.

Instead, shelters are asking that those who find missing pets temporarily board them in their homes or find someone else willing to do so. It is best, however, for the pet to stay nearby to where they were found as this results in an 83%+ reunification rate.

In the meantime, locals should take the pet to a vet to scan for a microchip, take them on walks nearby the location they were found, send a picture and description to local shelters and spread flyers around town or on social media.

If none of these routes garner success, adoption or fostering is greatly encouraged as there are currently many pets looking for a forever home.

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