Metro DetroitAugust 30, 2013
MPAW helps lost animals map out their way back home
By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer
METRO DETROIT — When someone loses a pet, it can be a scary and daunting undertaking to bring them home. Thanks to a new resource from the Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare, families have a place to start looking when they’ve lost their furry friend.
MPAW has created a new lost and found map on its website, where people can go to find animal shelters in their area that hold pets for state-mandated stray holding periods. That mandate requires shelters to hold stray animals without identification such as a tag, microchip or tattoo for a minimum of four days, or seven days for pets who have ID.
The idea is to give concerned pet owners a place to start looking for their pet once they’ve gone missing. Statewide Initiatives Director for the Michigan Humane Society Linda Reider said that it’s up to a pet’s family to do everything they can to find their lost animal, and that should include checking in with shelters at least every two to three days to see if they’ve been turned in.
“Losing a pet is a frightening experience,” said Reider in a prepared statement. “People who lose a pet often do not know where to begin looking. And holding on to a lost pet instead of reporting or taking the animal to the correct shelter can significantly delay or even prevent people from finding lost pets. Our new online map makes it easy to locate the closest shelters that house lost pets so that owners know where to look, and finders know where to take a stray.”
Such a tool could mean the world to a pet parent like Jacinta Branch, of Detroit. When she lost her beloved Shih Tzu, Ziggy, a couple of weeks ago, she said she had no idea where to begin looking for him. She scoured the streets and posted photos on social media and the website Craigslist, to no avail.
“It’s really frustrating. Most people don’t understand my urgency to find my Ziggy. They don’t understand that he is like a child to me,” said Branch. “I am heartbroken. The process of finding a lost dog is very unorganized and frustrating. I think with a map like this, or a little more organization, a lot more people could be reunited with their dogs.”
Not only could this map potentially bring families back together with their dear pet, but it could also prove helpful to shelters that are often overloaded with animals and anxious to get them out of kennels and back home.
“We always recommend that people are proactive in the search for their lost pet, and this new map is a great resource for people who don’t know where to start. The more active you are, the more likely you are to find a pet,” said Ryan McTigue, public relations coordinator for MHS.
To see the Lost and Found Pet Map, visit www.mpaw.org and click on the resources tab.