Maricopa County Animal Care and Control’s (MCACC) Lost and Found Team has expanded its hours and added members in an ongoing effort to reunite even more stray animals with their owners.
“The goal of our agency has always been keeping pets with their families and this is a step in the right direction,” said Mary Martin, the Department’s Director. “When a beloved pet strays away from home, it’s traumatic for both, especially now during the COVID-19 crisis.”
The now larger team has moved from a makeshift hallway space to an office with three cubicles where it is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The team takes calls directly from the public, filing lost and found reports and making matches. Recently, they were able to make 10 matches in a 24-hour period, helping reunite 10 dogs with their families.
“The one-on-one calls are important to help people work through the process of finding their dogs during an emotional time,” said team member Christine. Many people are distraught when they call and are unsure of what to do, so staff advises the most important step is to report their lost pet to MCACC when they first realize their pet is missing.
“When they report it, we are going to run through all the steps they need to do,” to try to find their lost pet, she said. Those steps include:
- File a lost report. Your missing pet will automatically be posted on petharbor.com and the County’s interactive map at https://gis.maricopa.tog/ACC/Strayindix.html
- Check your neighborhood. Most pets are found close to their homes.
- Post fliers in your neighborhood with a photo of your pet and your contact information. Use social media to extend the range of people who may see or be able to help you locate your missing pet.
- If your pet is microchipped, call the company to make sure the registration information is correct. Use petmicrochiplookup.org to locate the company’s contact information.
- Visit the shelter often to check all the kennels in case your lost pet has been turned in as a stray.
After the call, the Lost and Found Team emails residents additional information about lost and stray animals as well as other things they can to do help bring their missing pet home.
Dogs found in the field who are licensed, which is required for all dogs 3 months of age or older, will be given a free ride home by a Field Officer.
“We believe all dogs should be safe in homes where they belong, not loose on the streets,” Martin said. “Accidents do happen. The Free Ride Home program and our amazing Lost and Found Team provide a safety net to help them get home. We hope no one has to worry about their pets going missing but if it happens, we are there for them.”
To contact the Lost and Found Team, call 602-372-4598. For licensing information, call 602-506-7387 or to license your dog online, visit https://www.maricopa.gov/226/Dog-License.