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« Fatal dog attack in Cincinnati -- and more evidence why the breed haters are wrong | Main | Weekly Roundup -- Week Ending 7/22/12 »

July 18, 2012


Central Ohio Dog Blog

Having lost and been reunited with both my dog and cat, here are my thoughts, particularly related to the dog-cat discrepancy: 1. indoor-only cats are terrified and will hide. For a loong time. From everyone. Which means the normal strategies (flyers, shelters, etc.) aren't nearly as effective as they are with outdoor cats and WAY different from dogs. 2. I think a lot of cat owners assume that the cats won't end up at the shelters like dogs do, because they're not seen as a nuisance like loose dogs are. We're used to loose cats. When I meet a cat on the street, I assume it lives nearby. When I meet a dog, I try my darnedest to catch it and locate its owner. I admit that I never checked the shelter for my cat. 3. Cats' appearances are far less diverse than dogs. There sizes are more consistent, there are fewer common breeds, and there's only so much diversity in coloration/coat length. This makes them hard to identify by description, which means a LOT of false leads, which can be very, very discouraging.

Just a few initial thoughts. I'll be interested in digging into this. Thanks for sharing.



Agree on all your points and that cats and dogs are very different. When a handyman of ours accidentally let one of our cats out a few years ago I confess that looked for her, and asked a few neighbors to keep an eye out for her, but we knew she wouldn't go far. It was cold and I was 90% sure she'd come to where our heater exhaust comes out because it would be warm and protected there and we found her there three days later. But yes, agree that cats/dogs are much different

Jen Brighton

We have 3 indoor kitties. All were previously outdoor kitties. The newest addition BOLTS for the door any time we open it to let dogs in/out, visitors coming/going, tries to escape out the door to the garage hoping the garage door is open, etc. I'm sure the neighbors have laughed a few times as my husband and I were seen "herding" the cat back towards the house. She's a wily one. We call her our third dog because she begs at the dinner table right along with the two dogs and prefers their company to the company of the other two cats.

We are so frightened that she'll escape sometime, esp. at night and we won't even know. We are very careful but we've learned accidents do happen.

As hard as we all try to keep our animals safe, it's good to think about "what if" in the event something should happen.


Definitely agree on the "what if" thing. I also think it's interesting how quick many rescues are to deny someone from adopting who has previously lost a pet, and then hear how people who are great advocates like you, me and Central Ohio have all had pets lost for a certain amount of time. It happens, and we shouldn't be so quick to judge those it's happened to.


And that puts some responsibility on animal control and other "shelters" to keep the animals long enough for the owners to find them AND to allow owners to see all of the animals. Too many kill on intake (or shortly after) or have secret areas where the public is not allowed.


db - Agreed on many fronts. In Missouri (and many states) there is a law about how long shelters must keep strays (in Missouri it's 5 days) so shelters can't kill them immediately (owner surrenders are a different matter). I would like to know what the average timeframe is between when an animal gets to the shelter and is matched with their owner. I'm going to see if we can track that at our shelter. It would be nice to know if x% get out within 3 days vs x% that need 5 or 6. At our shelter, our capacity is about 8-10 days worth of intake, so every day is critical...

Kathy Pobloskie

The statement that owners with higher incomes have a greater chance of finding their dog correlates with our findings at Lost Dogs of Wisconsin. Reclaim fees are ridiculously high, often higher than adoption fees. Plus, an extended search costs money - printing, gas, time off work, etc. Dogs may often end up far outside the local shelter jurisdiction and owners may not have the time or gas money to check surrounding shelters. Shelters could help by posting stray pictures online, but many still don't - blaming the "irresponsible owner" for losing their dog.


I would consider lost animals strays


Kathy, not trying to get dogs back home makes no sense at all -- much easier to get them back home than find new homes for all of them.

Tom, I think that mindset is very unsettling -- as most dogs DO have owners, many of whom are very concerned about them. Strays don't.


Missing Pet Partnership is the best source for information on locating lost pets.

We use and sell Boomerang Collar Tags, which are the highest quality tags I have found.

Also, many shelters use 24PetWatch microchips because they are paid a few dollars to use them. However, 24PetWatch charges a fee to update owner contact information after the first year, which is probably a reason many people do not update their information.

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