What should you do if you’ve lost or found a pet?

As I scroll through my social media feed (some call this doom scrolling, but I can be an optimistic guy), I often come across posts about lost or found pets.  

I’ve gotten accustomed to seeing these posts, and when I do, I usually look at the picture and think, “That’s a cute little fellow. I hope they find him.” 

As I would often see these posts and hope for the best, I was unaware of what went on behind the scenes. Recently, I saw such a post, and as I scrolled down the comments, I saw that many people were tagging an individual in their comments, and her name is Brandi Buys.

Curiosity got the best of me, and I wondered who Brandi was, and why people were putting her name in the comments of these lost and found pets. I decided to reach out to her to learn a little more, and my eyes were opened to the large amount of work that is going on that most people are unaware of. 

I learned that Brandi is one of many people who watch social media in an effort to reunite owners with their lost pets. During my conversation with her, I also learned that there are people who are trained to set live capture traps to pull transient pets out of neighborhoods where they aren’t known and are disrupting the local pet activity. There is the South Utah Valley Animal Shelter where found pets are taken, pet rescue facilities, as well as veterinarians who tend to the animals lost. 

During our conversation, I observed that Brandi is in it up to her heart. Reuniting owners and pets is what drives her, and recently, she was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by the Utah Animal Control Officers Association.

Brandi was kind enough to share the following tips on how to reunite pets with owners, whether you have lost or found a pet.  

If you’ve lost a pet

1. Contact the shelter and animal control. It is best to go to the shelter in person and look at least every other day because it could take a few days for your pet to show up. 

2. Post Flyers in the area 

3. Post on your city’s community social media page if allowed. Many communities have pages for lost and found pets, like “Utah County Lost and Found PETS, “Payson UT Pets Lost and Found, “Santaquin Lost and Found Pets,” and Springville/Mapleton Lost & Found Pets.”

4. Put a scent out on the porch. If you’ve lost a dog, put some type of scent item out on the porch. If you’ve lost a cat, put a scoop from their litter box outside. Animal noses are stronger than we realize, and they may pick up their scent and make their way home. 

5. Invest in a microchip. If your pet is lost and sent to a shelter, it can be scanned by the shelter and you can be quickly reunited with your pet. Chips at the shelter cost $25.

If you’ve found a pet

1. Contact the animal shelter and animal control. The shelter is the first place an owner should look for their lost pet. 

2.  Check your city code on the laws regarding harboring a pet ordinance. Most Utah cities and towns have strict laws against individuals holding on to lost pets. It is best to make contact with the shelter to let them know you have found a lost pet so that the pet’s owner can find them.

3. Don’t assume an animal you find is abandoned. Most of the time they have a family desperately trying to find them. 

South Utah Valley Animal Shelter, (SUVAS) 
582 W. 3000 N. Spanish Fork, UT 84660
Kierstan.suvas@gmail.com (801) 851-4080

Open: 
Mon-Fri 10:00-12:00 and 1:00 – 5:00 pm 
Closed: Sat and Sun

Each city Police Department has an animal control department. Contact them via their non-emergency number.

By William Boardman

Guest Contributor
Guest Contributor
Articles from community members to share their viewpoints, or letter to the editor.

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