(WAUSEON, OH) – As we are in the midst of the “Dog Days of Summer,” there is still an increased risk of dogs getting loose and wandering. Fulton County Dog Warden, Brian Banister, reports “the calls we receive for lost dogs, and dogs on the loose increase during the summer.” He notes that dog owners spend more time outside enjoying the long warm days, family bar-b-que’s and gatherings, and it’s simply more comfortable for dogs to be out exploring. “The warm weather, the days being longer, and even fireworks around holidays can be a risk factor for dogs becoming lost.”
Recently, a dog owner contacted Banister about their missing dog who had become lost during the fireworks on the Fourth of July. They provided a description of the dog and contact information. Two weeks later, Banister was contacted by the Delta Police Department about a dog that they had found. Because the dog owners had called in the information earlier, he was able to successfully reunite the dog with it’s owner.
Banister notes that if a dog comes up missing, the first thing the owner should do is to contact the Dog Warden or local law enforcement to provide a description. “I think there is a mis-conception that if a dog becomes lost, the public is afraid to contact the Dog Warden for a fear that we will euthanize the dog,” Banister states. “That simply isn’t true, it’s the best thing someone can do because we are communicating with all of the county and surrounding county law enforcement agencies.”
As the risk increases for dogs running, consequently the risk increases for the public to find wandering or lost dogs. Banister states that if a dog is lost or wandering, to immediately contact the Dog Warden Office or local law enforcement to make a report. He warns against approaching dogs, as something as simple as being scared, hot, or hungry can make them aggressive.
Banister also notes that beyond calling the Dog Warden to provide a description of a lost dog, there are other steps that a dog owner can take to improve their chances of finding a lost dog:
1. Make sure dogs are licensed, and that they are wearing the license (it’s the Ohio law!). This is a significant advantage to the Dog Warden and public safety officials to be able to return dogs back to owners more quickly and effectively.
2. Call the Dog Warden (419) 337-9219 and provide a description and location of the dog immediately. After hours, contact your local police department or the Sheriff’s Non-Emergency Line at (419) 337-4010. In the event of an emergency, contact 911.
3. Check the Dog Warden’s website (www.fultoncountyoh.com/dogwarden) for Redeemable Dogs who are obtained by the Dog Warden. These dogs are held at the pound for a minimum of three days required by Ohio Law. Once the dog has been held for three days and an owner hasn’t been located, the dog will become adoptable to the general public.
4. Fulton County now has an App that features a Dog Warden icon in which both Redeemable Dogs and Adoptable Dogs can be accessed quickly.