Photos, Microchips Top Resources for Identifying Pet Ownership

 Pets can get lost, but the owner does have several resources available to prove the animal belongs to them.

That’s according to Starke County Humane Society Executive Director Shanna Lloyd. She says that if your animal is found by a shelter or an individual, using veterinary records and family photos may be your best choice for seeing the animal returned to you.

“Sometimes just from records alone you’re not able to distinguish if the markings are listed generically such as, let’s say, tan or white,” says Lloyd. “What that might mean. So photographs, absolutely, are your best source of information to provide to a shelter or to provide to an individual that might have your animal.”

The Starke County Humane Society says they have had to put their detective hats on in certain cases to determine who might be the true owner of a pet.

The Pulaski Animal Center is working to identify the owner of “Jasmine,” a three to five year old Mastiff who was found last Friday in the Pulaski area. She was described by one board member as underweight with ticks on her fur. Five separate individuals have laid claim to the dog, forming a difficult task for volunteers at the shelter.

If confirmation cannot be obtained through photographic evidence or other documentation, the Starke County Humane Society will many times conduct an interview to sort out the facts. Ultimately, ownership of the dog may be left to the discretion of the courts.

Lloyd says one of the surest ways to avoid a dispute is micro-chipping your animals.

“It’s a low cost method of ensuring that this animal is registered back to you, but the most critical thing is to know that when your animal is micro-chipped that is was actually registered,” says Lloyd.

Registering the microchip will ensure that proper information is able to be obtained about the owner. If an identifying number comes up without a name, Lloyd says it is not particularly useful.

“Jasmine” is being held at PAC until the animal is nursed back to health. Once that has taken place over the coming weeks, volunteers say they will begin the process for determining the owner.