Arlington launched an online lost and found tool for pets last Wednesday, one day after storms and a tornado ripped through the city, to make it easier to reunite lost animals with their families.Residents have always been able to view the animals in the City’s shelter online, but now people can report lost and found creatures in a central location on ArlingtonTx.gov. Citizens can also view pictures of lost and found pets and get information like the location where the pet was found, a physical description of the animal, and breed.With the tornado devastation and high possibility of lost pets, the City decided to launch the new tool, which is updated daily, ahead of schedule.“This website was already in the works. Once the storm came, we worked hard to get it open to give our citizens a new avenue to look for pets as well as post pets,” said Animal Services Manager Chris Huff.The project to enhance the Animal Services site began after several recommendations from staff and volunteers at the shelter. The lost and found concept previously existed in the form of a physical book. But if residents couldn’t get to the shelter, then they couldn’t see if anybody had recently lost an animal that they had found or vice-versa.City staff and volunteers are not able to identify lost animals by phone because of the high number of animals – approximately 11,000 each year – so having another way to connect pet owners with their lost loved ones is a nice service.Huff wants to stress that the site will continue to be active once the storm’s effects aren’t as apparent.“I just hope that even when the storm is over and Arlington appears to be back to normal, people will continue to remember that this website exists,” said Huff.If you have found a pet, you can post it online or you may bring the animal to Arlington Animal Services to be scanned for a microchip. If you are unable to locate the owner and are not in a position to keep the animal, residents are encouraged to bring the animal to the shelter in person. If you have questions, you can call 817-459-5898 for more information.Huff reminds residents that the best way to ensure your pet is safe at home is by taking these preventative measures:
- Check your fence for holes or old posts that can easily come loose
- Make sure your pet’s collar fits snuggly
- Make sure your pet’s tag information is up to date
- Microchip your pets
- Always walk your animal with a leash, and make sure that the leash is not only in your hand but wrapped around your wrist as well.
To see the new pet finder tool, visit webapps.arlingtontx.gov/tmp/animals/lostpets.html.