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Haywood County Animal Services offers ‘Free ride home’ for lost pets

Haywood County Animal Services is offering a free ride home for lost pets they find wandering the county if there is proper identification on the animal. 

While only dogs are required to wear a metal identification tag with the owner’s name, address and telephone number securely attached to the collar, field officers do carry microchip scanners and will scan dogs and cats for identification. Upon identifying and locating the owner, field officers will now take the animal home free. This applies to first time lost pets. Picked up more than once, the animal may face impoundment and the owner a citation and fees for roaming.

Pet owners need to provide proper identification on their pets. 

Too many strays are ending up in the shelter causing overcrowding conditions which leads to stress and disease. Even using an indelible marker to put a telephone number on a collar will help get a pet returned quicker. 

The number of lost strays coming into the shelter rose to 907 Jan. 1-Aug. 31, 2022, from 751 the same period in 2021. That’s more than a 20% increase, and the year isn’t over yet. More than 85% of these strays could have been returned quickly to their owners if they had identification. 

While some cats will wear collars with tags, most will readily shed them as soon as possible. This is why microchipping cats becomes a necessity. 

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