In a troubling development, New York’s Animal Care and Control reports that it will no longer take reports of lost pets, and staffers at shelters will no longer search the facilities for missing animals. Reduced services are being attributed to $1.5 million in budget cuts over the past two years.
The Department of Health oversees Animal Care and Control, and pointed out one exception: “Animal Care and Control will continue to perform searches for disabled people who cannot physically come to the shelters to search for their lost pets,” the department said in a statement. All other pet owners seeking lost animals will have to visit shelters in person, and will not be able to call with inquiries.
It is critical New York city pet owners properly tag, microchip and secure their animals – by law, an unclaimed animal can be adopted out or euthanized in as little as 48 hours from time of arrival at a shelter.