As the coronavirus started to spread a month ago, you probably saw information on creating an emergency plan for your pets in case you or a family member fall ill and can’t care for them. Minneapolis Animal Care and Control reminds us that the best place for our pets is at home and/or being cared for by someone they know, and having a detailed plan and emergency kit packed for your pets helps ensure this can happen. Right now it is also important to have more than one temporary caretaker lined up in the event one of them is unable to take on the responsibility.
MACC has other tips for emergency planning for pets here: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/animals/emergencyplanning
But the current pandemic has shown some other issues with pets that MACC would like you to be aware of.
- MACC Field Staff has also seen a significant increase in the number of stray and loose loose this spring. This is most likely caused by more kids and family members at home, and dogs sneaking out of doors or gates that aren’t properly latched.
- And dog bite/incident calls have also risen this spring – an 87% increase in calls between March 1st and April 8th this year compared to last year. Nearly half of the cases reported were in conjunction with the aggressor dog being off leash. More people are taking their dogs for walks, and not always keeping them leashed as is required by law.
- Cats are also slipping out of the house: MACC has seen a huge increase in the number of loose cats that have been injured by cars or dogs.
As you spend more time at home, please make sure to pay special attention to your pets’ surroundings. Make sure doors and gates are secure, and take special care with kids to make sure they aren’t letting pets escape. When walking your dogs, keep them leashed at all times and honor the social distancing guidelines for other dogs as well – not all dogs like to be close to other dogs!
Currently Minneapolis Animal Control is only responding to emergency calls (sick, injured or dangerous dogs) so we need to work together and do everything we can to help keep our pets, ourselves, and our neighbors safe.
What to do you find a stray
Find a safe place for the dog to stay.
Call on any tags if the dog is wearing a collar.
Walk the dog around the neighborhood and/or knock on doors to see if someone recognizes the dog.
Have the dog scanned for a microchip, most vets will do this for you.
Ask local vets to see if they received a report of a missing pet or have that dog on record as a client.
Take photos of the dog and post online:
• Facebook pages for Lost/Found
• Animal Humane Society Found
• Neighborhood group pages
• Craigslist (Pets section and Lost & Found sections)
• Nextdoor app
Make posters to hang up in the area it was found.
Message us with a photo, location, date found, etc. and we’ll post to our page and help network.
Always try to require proof of ownership (veterinary records, bill of sale, photos of you and your pet together, etc.) from anyone who wants to claim a lost dog. You want to be sure they are going to the right home.
Call Minneapolis Animal Control to make a FOUND report. If someone is looking for the dog, they can reach out and connect you with the owner.
If you can’t keep the dog safe, or if the dog is sick, injured or dangerous, please call Animal Control at 612.673.6222 or call 311.
We are unsure exactly what the policy is on the intake of stray dogs at Animal Control at this time, please call them and ask questions.