Animal Services

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE FOUND A PET

 

Most stray animals are not homeless or abandoned; they are simply exploring their neighborhood.  In fact, studies show that most stray animals are found within 1000 feet from their home and 85% of them return home on their own.  The chance of an animal being reunited with their owner is greatly reduced for animals taken to an area shelter.  That means if you have taken custody of a pet, YOU have the greatest chance of reuniting a lost pet with their owner. 

We recommend against picking up animals you don’t know.  You can call 816-325-7205 to report unrestrained animals.  Picking up a stray animal is a commitment and every effort should be made to reunite the animal with the owner prior to taking the animal to a shelter.  Taking an animal to the shelter should be a last resort to ensure that cage space is available for the animals that need it most such as those that are sick, injured, abandoned and neglected or abused.  It could take several days to reunite an animal with the owner and the shelter may not be able to accept the animal immediately.   Read below for tips to help you reunite a lost pet with its family.  If you choose to take custody of a stray animal, as you work to reunite a found pet with the owner it is highly recommended that you keep them separated from your personal pets and any children in the home. 

 

 IF YOU HAVE FOUND A CAT:

Most free-roaming cats return home on their own or are found by their owner in the neighborhood.  Only 2-4% of cats taken to a shelter are actually reclaimed by their owner.  If you have found a healthy adult cat that has suddenly appeared in the area, we suggest you leave it alone or consider taking a photo and posting on the social media pages recommended below.  Provide water if needed, but don’t feed it.  It will likely return home on its own.   You may also call the shelter to make a found pet report, put up flyers in the area, and knock on doors in the neighborhood.  All of these things can be done without taking custody of the cat.  If you choose to take custody of a stray cat, you should have it scanned for a microchip; most local veterinary offices are willing to scan found pets.   

Healthy adult cats are not typically accepted at the shelter to ensure cage space and resources are available to help the most urgent cases.  We encourage caretakers and finders of community cats to help reduce cat overpopulation by spaying and neutering.  Community cats from Independence and unincorporated areas of Jackson County can be scheduled for low-cost services by contacting vetclinic@indepmo.org. 

If you have found a kitten, it is possible the mother cat may be close by.  Contact the shelter at 816-325-7207 ext. 2 for advice on the best course of action on a case-by-case basis.  If you have found a sick or injured cat or kitten, call the shelter immediately at 816-325-7207 ext. 2. 

 

IF YOU HAVE FOUND A DOG:

Remember, most dogs are within 1000 feet from their home and the best option for reunification is for the dog to stay in the area.  Post a photo immediately on Nextdoor and other social media pages recommended below.  Walk the neighborhood, knock on doors and talk with neighbors to locate the owner.  You may also call the shelter to make a found pet report and put flyers up in the area.  Unrestrained dogs may be reported to our Dispatch Line at 816-325-7205.  If you choose to take custody of a stray dog, take it to be scanned for a microchip; most local veterinary offices are willing to scan found pets.  If you have posted on social media and canvas the neighborhood without locating the owner, you can call the shelter at 816-325-7207 ext. 2 to schedule an appointment to surrender the dog. 

 

POST AND SEARCH FOR FOUND PETS ON THESE RECOMMENDED LOCAL SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES LISTED BELOW

 

Independence Animal Services

21001 E 78 Highway, Independence, MO 64057
Phone(816) 325-7207

ADOPTION CENTER

Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm

Sunday - Monday By Appointment Only 

INTAKE

(for stray animal drop-off) 

By Appointment Only

LOST PET CENTER

(to reclaim your lost pet)

Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 6pm By Appointment Only

Sunday - Monday By Appointment Only

 

FIELD SERVICES

Call (816) 325-7205