Address the issues with "return to owner" before implementing a change in the stray hold.
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We need your input! The state is discussing passing a new law that the hold date of stray animals will be reduced to 3 days from the required 5 day hold.
We are against this because the general public does not know what to do when they lose their pet or when the public finds a lost pet. Strays may end up at humane societies, vet clinics, boarding kennels, police departments, or individuals who may hold the dogs on their property. These facilities do not always cross-communicate making it very difficult for an owner to locate their lost pet. It becomes logistically impossible for someone who has lost their pet to continually check everywhere. Beaufort County Animal Services is where every lost and found pet should be listed so everyone knows where to look to see if their pet has been found and then reducing the stray hold time then may make sense. But not at this time....
Reducing the stray hold period only manages to get the pets out of the shelter sooner; it does NOT help getting the pets back to their families.
There are issues that are affected by the reduction in hold time.
1. Currently, when a pet goes missing, the animal could be taken in at many different shelters, veterinary offices, humane societies, and even individuals. When shelters do not provide photos and other information about their intakes online (Not just social media), it makes it extremely difficult for the owner to visit each shelter, every vet clinic, search websites, Facebook pages, newspaper ads and also physically search for their pet. Often times, their pet is found within just a few days, but other pets take longer to find.
2. Pet owners away on vacation that have left their pet with a pet sitter or a boarding facility, may not even be aware their pet has gotten out and is missing. The extra few days makes a big difference.
3. Often times people finding pets are not notifying shelters or surrendering the pet to the local shelter as they fear for the pets safety. Reducing the stray hold time will not improve this situation.
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