Why should a responsible pet owner have to license and register their pet? After all, responsible pet owners don’t allow their pets outside without being leashed and they are always careful.
Or so they think.
Two weeks ago, a woman came in to the shelter looking for her two dogs. She found one of them in the kennel; by finding one of them, the shelter could look at the number sequence for the other one. It seems the woman’s son had become angry the day before and decided to get back at his mom by bringing her dogs to the shelter. Because the son told the shelter he was the owner and there was no way to prove otherwise, the dogs became immediate property of the county. Sadly, her second dog had been taken to the back and put down the same day it had come in.
Is this an isolated case? No, not by any means. A cat was brought in to the shelter, supposedly turned in by its owner. The information given about the cat by the owner was that he was a twelve year old, male by the name of Buddy. That information went into the computer for the public to see. It turned out that he was actually a two year old, female cat…and who knows what her name had been. This kitty fared better than the dog who died, but it took several weeks before anyone at the shelter realized that she was a young female. Was someone out there looking for a two year old, big brown tabby girl? With such glaring misinformation, it seemed there was someone; someone who loved her and was most likely looking for her. But there was also someone that didn’t want them to be reunited.
Now, if all pets were licensed and registered then these situations might have turned out differently. If owners had to prove ownership with license registration before they could relinquish their pet or if an appointment had to be made instead of being able to drop-off at whim, two dogs would most likely have come home and a sweet cat might have been back with the person who loved her.
These changes have been implemented in other cities and counties. Animals’ lives are being saved and families are being kept together and/or reunited because these programs are in place. A Facebook page is being developed to give links to places where these policies are working; to help educate those that may not quite understand what’s being asked in the petition; and provide resource information for local help currently available for struggling pet owners. Please visit and like the page.