HELENA — As the temperature outside rises, so too does the number of found animals turned into animal shelters across Montana.
Lewis & Clark Humane Society officials in Helena say that June, July, and August tend to have the highest number of animals brought into the shelter.
“People tend to go camping, they go boating, they go hiking, and they take their pets with them,” said Cassidy Cook, LCHS director of development and communications. “What happens is, pets run off.”
There are steps pet owners can take to better their chances of being reunited with their pet, should it get lost.
Cook suggests putting a collar and tags on any pet that spends time outdoors. Cook said tags should contain information to help reunite the pet and owner, like the owner’s phone number.
A microchip linked to up-to-date information is also useful when LCHS staff are working to identify a found pet’s owner.
Owners can also file a missing report with law enforcement and the Humane Society.
Lost reports include information about what the missing pet looks like, what color collar they may be wearing, their weight and where they were last seen.
Cook said LCHS staff check lost reports when animals are turned in to the shelter. It's also a good idea to have a recent photo of the pet available.
Posting a photo and information about a missing pet on Facebook can also be helpful - both to your personal page and any "missing pets" groups in your area.
“Those social media things get spread far and wide,” Cook said.
If you find a dog or cat, check for a tag with an owner’s information, and if there isn’t one, give the Humane Society or nearby animal shelter a call.
“I always recommend calling us and filing a found report,” Cook said.
Cook said LCHS staff cross-reference lost and found reports to try to reunite pets with their people.