Return to Home (traditionally known as Return to Owner) is one of the most important programs you can have in place. We hope the first thing you do when finding a lost or stray pet is to try and find its home.
Whether or not you’re participating in the No Place Like Home Challenge in March, there is plenty of information to be gleaned from our resources page. Below you will find just a few (of many) that can help when it comes to starting or expanding your own Return to Home programs.
Does your community know what to do?
Losing a pet is a scary and unfamiliar situation for many. Will a pet owner in your community know what to do? Is the information a pet owner needs regarding a lost pet easily found on your website? Do you include lost pet information in newsletters or weekly emails to donors? Do you post about filing lost reports with your shelter? This helpful checklist from Michelson Found Animals outlines what makes a great lost and found website.
Microchip, microchip, microchip!
Do all the pets leaving your shelter have a microchip? What about the pets that were obtained from outside the shelter? Make it your mission to get every dog and cat in your town microchipped! Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control hosts Microchip Checkpoints to scan dogs (and sometimes cats) for microchips. From there, the microchip information is either verified or updated or plans are made to get a microchip implanted.
Do current laws allow for Return to Home or something else?
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement has a powerful essay about the realities of disaster transport. Are we doing a disservice by transporting animals out of the shelters to other parts of the country? Could it be those pets already have loving homes, and due to bad luck or devastating circumstances, have found themselves in the shelter?
Take a look at the rest of the resources and start getting more pets back home!