Lost and Found Pets
WHEN YOU HAVE LOST YOUR PET:
Telephone the Culver City Animal Services Officer immediately to report your lost pet (310) 253-6143.
Go in person to the spcaLA shelter located at 12910 Yukon Ave. in Hawthorne (310) 676-1149.
In losing a pet it is important to stay focused and organized about what steps you need to take to recover your lost animal. Here are some suggestions to help you if your pet is lost:
1. Ask a kennel attendant to show you the animals in other areas (observation, new strays, hospital); be persistent but patient, if you have to wait for a kennel attendant to help you check the listing of "Found Animals" (at Carson, this is sometimes referred to as the 'Live/Dead Log'). Fill out a card to list the animal as lost, and post it on the bulletin board. This will be helpful if someone finds your pet and comes in to look at the board. Add a photograph of your pet if possible.
2. Ask at the shelter for a list of telephone numbers and addresses of other shelters in the area. Ask the shelter for a list of telephone numbers and addresses of volunteer groups that may be of assistance, such as rescue groups. If an animal is unclaimed for a few days, a rescue group might adopt the animal from the shelter and try to find a new home for it. Although some groups focus on specific breeds, there are many that will rescue well-trained or easily adoptable animals of any type.
3. Return to the shelter every three days and repeat these steps. Shelter workers do not routinely check incoming animals against the bulletin board, or check the bulletin board against their inventory. It is up to you to visit the shelter to see for yourself.
4. Due to the high volume of lost animals, cards are removed from the bulletin board after a period of time. Check the board and post a new card if needed.
5. Change your answering machine message to include that your pet is "still missing." Sometimes a person finds an animal, but figures that posters or ads describing a similar animal are old and outdated, and it must not be the same animal. Encourage people to leave a message with any information that might be helpful.
6. If you are fortunate enough to find your lost pet, be sure to attach a license and identification tag to his/her collar. Also, consider a microchip for your pet (microchips are mandatory for dogs residing in Culver City.
7. Do not give up. Lost dogs and cats have been located many months after they were lost. Don't forget to get a microchip.
IF YOU HAVE FOUND A PET:
1. Check for I.D. (name tag with phone number)
2. Contact Culver City's Animal Services Officer at (310) 253-6143.
3. Take the pet to your local veterinarian to be scanned for a microchip (this is a free service).
4. Bring the animal to the spcaLA shelter in Hawthorne. NEVER take the animal to the County's Carson shelter.
5. If you are unable to transport the animal or feel that to do so may endanger your safety you can call the Culver City Animal Services Officer at (310) 253-6143.
6. You can shelter or board the animal and if the animal has a Culver City license tag, contact PetData during normal business hours to help reunite the pet with the owner. (888) 788-3463. The City of Culver City can also assist: (310) 253-6015.
7. Place a "Found Pet" advertisement in the newspapers.
8. Look under "Lost Pet" ads and see if there are any matches.
TO DO LIST BEFORE YOU LOSE YOUR PET:
1. Affix collars and readable ID tags: It ís the law for dogs, and it is highly recommended even on indoor-only cats (check out 'break-away' or 'safety' collars for cats if you are concerned about it being caught on something). The tag should have your name, address, and phone number. (Better yet, include information on any medications, and a phone number from out of the area that can be called after an earthquake or other disaster). Unless your animal can speak well enough to tell someone your phone number or address, your animal should have a tag!
2. Microchipping: a microchip about the size of a grain of rice can be inserted into companion animals, and picked up by scanners used in shelters and veterinary clinics. The microchip has a unique identification number; through registration in a database, you can be notified when the chip is scanned. It is a good back up, not a substitute, for a collar and tag. Talk to your veterinarian.
3. Photos: take photos on a regular basis to help with description and identification. If you try to reclaim an animal at many public facilities, they require proof of ownership (to help insure that animals are not released to the wrong people). Having a current photo can be very helpful, and should be done in conjunction with micro-chipping your pet.
4. Description: Write a detailed description of the animal while the animal is sitting in front of you. This can be a good way to give your companion some attention and quality time. In the event the animal is ever missing, having a detailed description will help you sift through calls from people who have found similar animals, and will help you prove ownership when you find the right one. Your black and white dog, or orange and white cat, is certainly unique - but how can other people tell your animal from all the others? Record features such as scars or bumps that are unique to your pet.
5. Lost poster: go through the process of making up a "lost" poster. Include a description of the animal, your phone number, and a photo. Store it in your emergency kit or earthquake preparedness kit. If you ever need it, it will save a lot of time to have it all ready to be copied. The sooner you begin your search, the more successful it is likely to be.