Society makes dogged effort to reunite lost pets with owners


POSTED: Thursday, January 29, 2009

Question: We lost our dog on New Year's Eve. What are the chances of getting him back?

Answer: Some of the most critical factors in finding a pet include what you do as soon as you realize your pet is missing and what actions you took before he was lost.

Oahu's return rate is slightly higher than on the mainland, with more than 3,500 lost pets reunited with their owners in 2008.

As soon as you discover your pet is missing, it's important to canvass the neighborhood, knock on doors and post photos of your pet. Filing a missing-pet report with the Humane Society also is essential to ensure that our officers are on the lookout for your pet, too.

If your pet has a collar, ID tag and a microchip, he's got visible and permanent ID. That means your ownership is clearly identifiable. It also alerts anyone who might find him that he probably belongs to someone and is not abandoned. Always keep your contact information current with the Hawaiian Humane Society so that your pet's microchip is linked with your cellular and home telephone numbers.

Q: My daughter fears that someone will find him and keep him. Does that happen?

A: While it is possible, it is also illegal. Keeping a pet that's not yours is theft. The law requires that people who find pets notify the Humane Society so that we can try to locate the registered owner. People who find animals can request that if the owner is not located, they have first option to adopt.

When lost animals are brought in, if they have something that indicates ownership - a tag, microchip, even painted toenails - the animals will be placed in holding for a minimum of nine days. If unclaimed, the animal will become eligible for adoption.


The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Indicate “;Pet Ohana”; in the subject line. Or, write “;Pet Ohana,”; Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.