Late August, the New Britain Animal Control starts getting overwhelmed with dogs found in the City. It is also the time people let dogs loose causing more lost dogs. Remember when searching for a lost dog to check with the pound first.
“Our pound is full right now. People let their dogs out because of the warmer weather,” said Sgt. Paula Keller. “Dogs need to be on a leash, have a collar and be licensed. If not, someone may decide to take it and we would never find out about it. If people see a dog wondering and it is friendly, they will take it.”
One mistake people make is to fence in their dog and go to work. The dog has at least 8 hours to find a way out. It may jump the fence, dig a hole or someone could open a gate and let them out because they are barking.
“People should not leave dogs outside when they are not home. If they don’t have a secure fenced yard, do not leave them home. A lot of people have fencing that are falling apart or have holes. The fence needs to be sturdy,” said Keller. “Every year by October we are up to our ears in dogs. It starts in August.”
If your dog has a micro-chip it will be scanned and returned to you at the pound.
If you have lost your dog and go to the pound to redeem your dog, you will not be issued a ticket for roaming, not having a license or not having rabies shots. You will get a verbal warning. You will get a couple of weeks to get the dogs their shots and are checked up on to make sure you have done so. The only charges are for the length of time the dog was at the pound and if an ad was put in the paper.
“We do need to recoup our costs, but I don’t give out tickets,” said Keller. “I don’t want to give the message, if you pick up your dog you will be whacked with a ticket.”
The pound checks several places to see if dogs they have are lost dogs and then an ad is put in the newspaper.
“If your dog is missing for more than 3 or 4 days and it is not at a facility, someone stole it,” Keller said. “The easiest way to prevent this is to have it on a leash, be sure someone is with it when outside and don’t let it wander. That is how dogs are hit by cars and get parvo. People need to be more responsible.”
If you find a lost dog, the first thing you should do is notify the pound. They may know who is looking for the dog. Some people don’t report it for two weeks. Many were going to keep it and decided they can’t.
“That is somebody’s pet. You can’t do that,” said Keller. “There is a lot of misinformation and undedicated people.”
Keller said the pound is also full because New Britain is a transient City and people move in the summer because the kids are out of school. People get into new homes and apartments in late August and early September and may not take dogs. They are faced with eviction and call to try to get the pound to take the dogs.
“There are times we just don’t have room to take everybody’s dogs. We try to help them out with resources and rescue groups,” said Keller. “People get desperate and toss the dog outside or they leave them behind when they move. Sometimes we find them tied up at a park. If you tie a dog up to a fence it is not roaming around or can get hit by a car. Someone will find it at a park. That is desperation.”
It’s often hard to place a dog that is over 5 years of age especially if it is a pitbull mix. The New Britain pound is full of them.
Keller said before moving plan ahead and be sure the new home can take dogs. People sometimes call the pound as they are evicted. Do not wait until the last minute to find your dog a home. The pound will help cross post info if they cannot house the dog.
Dog owners also need to be sure their dog has the vet care needed. Dogs need to be vaccinated with rabies and parvovirus as well being spayed or neutered.
“That makes it a less attractive dog for someone to adopt,” said Keller. “If you can’t afford to do those things then you shouldn’t have the dog.”