• 52°

Humane Society urges tagging pets

Animal control personnel have no way of telling whether an animal picked up is a pet or stray, so the Humane Society has suggested a solution.

"When employees from the Greenville Animal Shelter catch a cat or dog, unless there is a form of identification on the animal, they have no way of knowing who to contact," said Becky Coon, of the Butler County Chapter of the Humane Society.

"If pet owners would simply purchase collars for their pets, and place the animal's rabies tag on it, then there would be a way for them to be identified as pets."

Coon said time is critical with regard to pets picked up by Animal Control.

"What pet owners may not realize is that once an animal is picked up, after seven days it can be adopted or disposed of," Coon said. This has become even more important recently, as there has been an increase in animal pickup, especially cats and kittens."

Coon said that there has been a sharp increase lately in the complaints regarding stray cats.

"There are not even enough cages to be set out by shelter employees," Coon said, "and we are running out of cages to hold them in when they are captured-this means that there would be fewer chances of an animal being adopted or claimed after the seven day waiting period has expired."

Another aspect of concern of the society is the reporting of missing pets, according to Coon.

"As soon as pet owners notice that their cat or dog is missing, they should either call or come down to the shelter to fill out a missing pet report," she said. "This way, the report can be posted so that all shelter employees will be looking for the missing pet."

Coon said the main reason most pet owners don't put collars on their animals is their fear of them becoming a hindrance to animal safety.

"A lot of people don't want collars on their pets because of the risk that the animal could get caught by the neck, and not be able to release themselves," Coon said. "But there are alternatives to that also. Many stores carry snag-proof collars or stretch collars-this gives the animal a better chance of freeing itself."

Coon said that she encourages people to spread the word about tagging and identifying their pets.

"Wild stray animals of domestic origin are a threat to the safety of both pets and their owners, but we need to be able to tell the difference," Coon said. "Please talk to your friends about this matter-time is critical whenever an animal is captured if it cannot be identified as a pet."