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Missing a pet? Do not delay looking

By Staff | Aug 11, 2021

Twenty-nine dogs.

Thirty-two cats.

And one black bunny.

All listed Thursday among the missing pets who are waiting for their families to track them down and bring them home.

Before the clock runs out.

Lee County Domestic Animal Services has a number of responsibilities. It handles nuisance and injured animal calls related to stray dogs and cats; it cares for those runners and escape artists as their owners are sought; and it takes in what are called “owner surrenders,” dogs and cats whose owners for whatever reason can no longer provide care.

A reader emailed us this week, suggesting that we provide information on how a pet owner might go about finding their missing pooch or purry, for although social media pet-finders pages and posts are good and at-your-fingertips sources, a call to the shelter is a must-take step if you hope to retrieve a picked-up pet.

Domestic Animal Services sums things up succinctly on their website, leegov.com/animalservices:

“If you have lost a pet, you must act immediately by visiting Animal Services to reclaim your pet. Our stray animal holding period is three consecutive days for dogs without identification; and five consecutive days for dogs and cats with identification, including closed days and holidays. After the holding period, they become property of Animal Services and may be adopted, transferred to another agency, or humanely euthanized if the pet is deemed unadoptable.

“There is no holding period for cats without identification. They immediately become property of Animal Services and may be adopted, transferred to another agency, or humanely euthanized if deemed unadoptable.

“Do not delay looking for your pet.”

Given those tight timelines, let us emphasize their closing line: Do not delay looking for your pet.

Check out the agency’s lost or missing pets link — lostandfound@leegov.com — but also, for the sake of your pet, do as they recommend and actually visit the shelter at 5600 Banner Drive in Fort Myers next to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office off Six Mile Cypress Parkway.

Regular hours, as of Thursday, remain from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

And if you’re not missing a pet but missing having a pet?

Adopt, not shop. There are too many dogs and cats who are not going home again, at least to the home they had.

According to a release from Domestic Animal Services this week, the dog adoption center there is approaching capacity, so they are inviting those who might be looking for a new furry family member to make a “Pit Stop” this month while the adoption fee for all dogs that weigh more than 30 pounds is $20.

As always, the adoption fee includes: spay/neuter surgery; age-appropriate vaccinations; flea treatment; deworming; heartworm test for dogs 6 months or older; feline AIDS and leukemia test for cats; a Lee County license for pets 3 months or older; Microchip Pet ID; and a 10-day Health Check. The total adoption package is valued at more than $600.

You can view pets that are available for adoption on their the website, which updates hourly. The link is https://www.leegov.com/animalservices/adopt.

Adoptable dogs — and cats — also are featured on Animal Services’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

If one catches your eye, you can email kennel@leegov.com.

Can’t adopt, but want to help?

Fosters — volunteers who provide temporary homes for underage kittens and puppies, nursing mothers with litters, sick or injured pets and more — are always needed. Visit https://www.leegov.com/animalservices /foster.

And please — please — do two things to care for the pets you have: Chip them and keep the chip information current; and spay or neuter.

Microchipping is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through their Licensing Department. No appointment is necessary. The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For low-cost spay and neuter visit leegov.com/animalservices/vetservices/spayneuter

— Citizen editorial