Animal shelter creates online tool to reunite lost pets with owners
Website includes picture of pet as well as information about where and when it was found
FARMINGTON — The Farmington Regional Animal Shelter is offering a new tool to help pet owners find missing animals.
The shelter launched the online service last week on the city website, fmtn.org.
When a stray animal is brought to the shelter, the intake staff snaps a picture and gives the animal a name and identification number. That information is then posted on the website.
People looking for lost pets can browse the pictures. The website also gives information about where the animal was found. For example, it tells that a young black female cat was found on Sullivan Avenue on Tuesday and a white-and-brown male terrier mix dog was found on Nov. 18 at the Four Corners Power Plant.
"It's just another way to get animals back home," shelter director Stacie Voss said.
She said the shelter gets a lot of phone calls from people asking if their missing pet is there.
"We can't really identify over the phone," she said.
The website allows people who cannot make it to the shelter to see if their pet could be there.
Voss said people who lose a pet should focus on getting the message out that their pet is missing. She recommended that people post information on the San Juan County Pets Lost and Found Facebook page and visit the three shelters in the area to file a missing pet report.
"We're kind of unique in that we have three shelters in 60 miles," Voss said.
People should check with the Farmington Regional Animal Shelter, the La Plata County Humane Society in Durango, Colo., and the Aztec Animal Shelter, she said.
Voss said it is especially important to visit the shelters in person, especially if the animal has common markings. She said someone with a black cat may not be able to identify it unless they visit the shelter.
People who find stray animals are required by law to make a concerted effort to find its owner. That includes reporting the animal as found at the shelters.
The shelter is required by law to charge a fee for people to get the animal out of the shelter. That includes a $15 impound fee, as well as a $5-a-day boarding fee. The impound fee increases if the animal is taken to the shelter multiple times. The shelter also charges a $10 rabies deposit for animals that do not have proof of vaccination and a $25 spay or neuter deposit for unaltered pets.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.