What happens when your pet goes missing? First, don’t panic. Why? Because 90 percent of stray pets in the St. Louis area end up at one of three agencies: the Humane Society of Missouri, the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) or St. Louis County Animal Control.
The Humane Society has three locations: , Maryland Heights, and St. Louis City.
The good news is that these three animal protection agencies want to reunite you with your pet.
They have teamed up to form STL Lost Pets, a website dedicated to helping animals find their way back home.
“Strays are held for five days,” said Debbie Hill, the Vice President of Operations at the Humane Society of Missouri. Dogs who have tags or have been microchipped are given ten days for staffers to make contact. If the owner is not located within that time frame the holding agency will evaluate the animal for its adoption potential.
Hill said that as soon as a stray comes in, a photo is taken and placed on both the holding agency’s website and the shared STL Lost Pets website, which are updated hourly by computer. The Humane Society is open 24 hours a day to handle emergency cases and injured animals.
STL Lost Pets currently has 245 found dogs and 280 found cats in its data base. Animals stay on the data base until they are either picked up by their owner or a new family adopts them. Unfortunately, animals that are deemed unadoptable for insurmountable health or behavior reasons are humanely euthanized.
The also keeps an eye out for lost pets. According to Sgt. Dave Weiss the police are willing to pick up friendly looking strays and have a cage to keep them in while they try to contact the owner. If the owner is not found quickly, they will take them to a shelter.
What to do if you lose a pet:
First check your neighborhood immediately—don’t assume the animal will find its way home. Talk with neighbors to see if they have spotted your animal.
Go to STL Lost Pets and submit a missing pet report. Your file will be sent to all three major St. Louis area shelters and kept for 30 days. If they pick up your pet they will call you.
If a pet matching your description comes to any of our locations, you will be notified. It is very important that you continue checking our database of Found Dogs and Found Cats in addition to making a report. Please include in your report as many details as possible including any special conditions your pet might have (allergies, seizures, special medications, etc.). The more details you give, the greater the chance for a happy reunion.~STLLostPets.org
Make posters with details of the animal’s breed, color, size and anything else that identifies it. Hang them around the neighborhood. Include a photo.
Remember to keep a tag on your pet with a phone number so if a neighbor finds your dog or cat they can call you. Microchipping your pet is also a good idea—and it doesn’t fall off or get lost if a collar breaks.
What to do if you find a lost pet:
First, keep your distance until you are sure you can handle the pet safely. According to STL Lost Pet, injured animals should not be handled. They recommend that you call the Humane Society of Missouri at 314-647-8800. (If you’re not a resident of St. Louis County, call your local Animal Control).
If you can put a leash on the pet, check for a tag with a phone number. If you can’t find a number on the pet’s tags, bring the animal to your nearest veterinarian who will scan the animal—free of charge—for a microchip.
You can choose to keep the pet at your home until the owner is located, or bring the pet to your nearest shelter. The Chesterfield location of the Humane Society is at 17357 Edison Avenue, near the Wehrenberg Chesterfield Galaxy Cinema.