Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 16 days ago
    We are seeing an upsurge in what we believe to be owners bringing in pets they claim they have found. 

    We have contracts with cities and our Sheriff's Office to take these found pets.  Owner surrendered pets are only accepted when resources allow.  We have been unable to take owner surrendered pets for about a year now due to over-crowding. 

    How do other organizations with contracts let people know that if they lie on the intake form, they are making a false report to law enforcement?  And how do we get law enforcement to follow up and seek intake fees from these owners posing as finders?

    Of course we want to help the pets and the people, but we would much rather they tell us the truth.
    #AdmissionsandIntake(includingIntake-to-placement)
    #FieldServicesandPublicSafety*

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    crystal blackdeer
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  • 2.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 15 days ago
    Hi Crystal,

    We see the same things here at our facility in Lake City FL. We have doubled our intake in 2 of the past 3 months because of these types of things. We do owner surrenders by appointment and it costs $60 but people have a fit about the money so we do work with people but NOT all.  We do appointments so we do not have to EU for an opening but people do not care about that either it is just what they want when they want it and you SHOULD give it to them! I remind them that they are signing a legal binding contract stating that the animal they are turning in is not theirs and I also remind them that if we do find out the animal is theirs we will press charges. I will look through peoples FB profiles Instagram's and whatever else I can find that they have  for pics of the animals if I am suspicious and our officers here are more than willing (NORMALLY) to give someone a $500 fine for abandonment. We all feel this pain as well I am sure. I want to help people but some of them it is so hard to want to help. Sorry not sorry!!!

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    Stacey Blanyar
    Director of Rescue & Pet Retention
    Lake City Humane Society
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  • 3.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 10 days ago
    Thank you, Stacey.  I am envious of your law enforcement charging abandonment!

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    Crystal Swann Blackdeer
    Executive Director
    Leavenworth County Humane Society, Inc.
    Lansing KS
    913-250-0506
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  • 4.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 15 days ago
    We have definitely seen this at our shelter.  We are small and are closed admissions but we take in stray cats/dogs.  If we think that the person is lying to us we let them know we will take the pet either way but that it is more helpful for the pet if they tell us it is their pet so we can get the full information and also the pet does not have to sit here for the stray hold and can get adopted quicker.  If we find a chip and it goes to the 'finder' we call that person and let them know that the pet they brought in has a chip registered to them and we would like to get more information and talk to them so we can release the stray hold.  We have also looked on social media to see if the 'finder' has pictures of that pet and have called the person to ask that they give us more information.  We always use the angle that we are trying to help the pet by getting all the info we can and not have to have the pet sit here an extra 3 days.  There have been times when people have admitted it and give us the info we need.

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    Melissa Engerman
    Maryland SPCA
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  • 5.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 10 days ago
    Thank you, Melissa!

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    Crystal Swann Blackdeer
    Executive Director
    Leavenworth County Humane Society, Inc.
    Lansing KS
    913-250-0506
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  • 6.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 9 days ago
    Melissa, this approach reflects compassion and empathy, and I acknowledge how important that is in our work in animal welfare specifically and in supportive services in general (and, not for nothing, as humans in a crazy, mixed-up world that is challenging for many to navigate successfully). I can see how difficult it is for animal control and sheltering organizations to manage the intake pipeline while maintaining low euth-for-space rates, and this is SUCH a stressful balance to achieve when/if it can be attained. And I appreciate all the more when folks in the intake role can dig deep into their own empathy and compassion reserves to choose something other than punishment for actions that emanate from people's own desperation and trauma responses.

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    Sarah Rosenberg
    Paws Between Homes
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  • 7.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 12 days ago
    I don't think getting law enforcement involved is going to help. The problem isn't the lying, the problem is that there isn't anywhere for people who need to surrender their pet to do so, so they are getting desperate. Threatening them with legal action is going to stop them from accessing animal services for help at all, and that's not what we want!  People could simply stop bringing them in and leave them outside for someone else to find and bring in, and then you're back to the same problem anyway: a dog you don't have space for. Do you have programs in place to help people figure out ways to keep their pet if they want to? Or a list of resources they can use elsewhere? Or other nearby shelters or rescues who may be able to help them?

    I know many areas are overwhelmed with too many homeless pets, but getting law enforcement involved is not going to help pets or people, and will likely make their lives in even worse than they already are.

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    M Saucedo
    GIS Analyst
    Pets for Life
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  • 8.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 10 days ago
    Thanks, M.  In a perfect world, every shelter would be able to provide all the resources to keep pets in their homes - food, veterinary care, preventatives, spay/neuter, training, temporary housing, etc.  In the real world, not everyone is resourced to do that.  We are not out to play "gotcha" on people who lie to us, but we don't want them to lie to us.  If they need to surrender, they should tell us and we'll point them to places who are better equipped to provide appropriate care for their pet.  It serves no one for us to be obligated to take a pet someone "found?" to put them in the garage in a wire crate for months on end.  Yes, they get 3 walks a day and time in a play yard, food water vet care and enrichment as best we can.  But they could go to a larger better resourced shelter if people would tell us the truth.  We do provide information about reduced fee clinics and larger better resourced shelters in our area.  We never are the "NO" and go away.  We always try to help people find what they need even if we can't provide it.   As to law enforcement, we have a hard time getting them to investigate/document/charge abuse/neglect/abandonment.  I harbor no illusion that they would pursue filing a false report for a "found" animal.  Would love to see PFL in northeast KS/KCMO area, but I understand these large national programs go where they can serve the most people/pets, or to areas where more pets are dying in shelters.


    Crystal Swann Blackdeer
    Executive Director 
    Leavenworth County Humane Society, Inc.
    Lansing KS
    913-250-0506



  • 9.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hi! We help local groups set up the program but we don't run it ourselves,  so where PFL has official partners simply depends on whether there is a local group that is willing and capable of doing it.  PFL has programs all over the country, we don't focus only in big cities or high volume shelters! We have lots of programs in small cities, rural areas, and Native American reservations. And we actually have a new group coming on board in Wichita soon and another in KCMO.

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    M Saucedo
    GIS Analyst
    Pets for Life
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  • 10.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 8 days ago
    We do not take any owner surrenders unless its part of a cruelty case or a dangerous dog case. Although some times I wish we did because usually when people end up calling me I'm the last line of hope for them. 

    On our seizure forms we have the person who found the dog sign it stating that "I certify that the dog I am turning over is not, or ever was not, owned by me or by any member of my family or household. I have been informed that making a false statement is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor pursuant to section 210.45 of the Penal Law of the State of New York." 

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    Elizabeth Booke
    Animal Control Officer
    Schenectady Police Department
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  • 11.  RE: Suspected Owners posing as Finders

    Posted 8 days ago
    Nice language.

    Crystal