It’s all too common in Prince Rupert; people’s pets wondering off away from home and never returning.
A sad fact that Prince Rupert’s BCSPCA branch manager, Lindsey Vincent, says people can avoid having happen to them.
According the Vincent there are 242 stray animals in the community at the moment, with the City impounding around 42 of these. Just over half of incoming dogs picked up by the City are returned home, with the remaining unredeemed animals becoming property of the BC SPCA.
In these cases, the SPCA has to spay or neuter the unredeemed animals and find a new home for them, many of which are transferred out of town.
“We just don’t have the adoption numbers locally,” explained Vincent.
Sadly, only 21 per cent of all stray cats and dogs that have no ID are returned home. 79 per cent of strays are not being returned to their homes, and become property of the BCSPCA. A majority of the stray animals are cats, which Vincent says is because of the lack of spayed and neutered cats in the community.
“It’s really important that everyone with a pet gets them some sort of identification on their animals, whether it be a cat or dog,” said Vincent.
Having identification for pets is not only a beneficial way to ensure missing pets find their way home, it also can prevent owners from a fine, as in Prince Rupert there is the Dog Control Bylaw that states “Every person within the City who owns or keeps a dog shall obtain a valid license, by applying in writing to the Bylaw Officer on the form provided and paying the prescribed fee set out”. People whose dogs are currently unlicensed are encouraged to do so as soon as possible to avoid fines.
Although there are no licenses for cats, Vincent says that in order to prevent cats from becoming property of the SPCA, owners can purchase tags at Gary’s Lock Shop to help missing felines find their way home. Another option for cats is getting a microchip implanted at the Pacific Coast Vet Hospital, as the SPCA has a scanner for microchips, or a tattoo in the animal’s ear.
Vincent also wants to remind people that find lost or stray pets and are planning to keep them in their houses over night to inform either the SPCA, Pacific Coast Vet Hospital, or other animal related places.
“We see incidences all the time where people have had a pet at their home for some time, and haven’t reported it. That means that someone has been looking for their pet all of that time,” commented