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County animal shelter looking to public to help them house, reunite lost pets

County officials say if someone finds a stray dog, and it’s approachable, they should first check its tags. If it has a license number, the owner can be looked up on the county’s website. If it has a rabies tag, Public-Health Dayton and Montgomery County can look up the owner if someone calls (937) 225-4460.

If that doesn’t work, ARC says you should call your local police non-emergency number. The county used CARES Act funds to purchase 45 microchip scanners for local officers to help find the owners of lost dogs.

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Microchip scanners are now being used by police to attempt to identify lost pets before they end-up at the Animal Resource Center. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Microchip scanners are now being used by police to attempt to identify lost pets before they end-up at the Animal Resource Center.  JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

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Microchip scanners are now being used by police to attempt to identify lost pets before they end-up at the Animal Resource Center. JIM NOELKER/STAFF

Credit: JIM NOELKER

Credit: JIM NOELKER

If that doesn’t work, ARC may ask you to provide temporary shelter for the dog while you check social media and ask neighbors, and register the dog as lost with them and other agencies. They may even ask you to help find the dog a forever home.

“We always like to tell people the shelter is really no place for an animal. All these animals should be in loving homes,” said Kara Hamby, public information officer for ARC. “We want to be available for those pets who truly need us, those who are sick, injured and homeless.”

County officials say ARC still makes patrols, and they spent $2,270 in CARES Act funds to buy seven mobile printers for ARC vehicles so they can photograph lost pets and print out lost-and-found posters on the spot to post in the area where the dog is found.

The shelter has 79 medium/large dog kennels and 40 small kennels and has long been at capacity. Cramming more dogs in there adds to the already stressful situation for the dogs and can cause outbreaks of diseases like kennel cough, county officials say.

Montgomery County reducing animal shelter stays, euthanizations
Montgomery County Animal Resource officials say they are trying to reunite lost animals and owners outside the shelter, resulting in less crowded animal shelter conditions and fewer euthanizations.
Year 2018 2019 2020 2021
dogs taken in 3958 3723 2403 1641
Dogs adopted out 844 1546 1159 670
Dogs transferred to other organization 823 545 296 225
Dogs returned to owner 1178 1115 791 532
dogs euthanized 1015 391 186 168
Source: Montgomery County

The mobile clinic is intended to reduce the population of diseases and stray dogs. It is a fully operational veterinary clinic set up for spaying, neutering and vaccinating pets. The plan is to set it up in centralized locations around the community to offer those services at an affordable price.

The truck was purchased last year, but hasn’t been used for spaying and neutering yet because the county hasn’t hired staff to do the procedures.

The Dayton Daily News contacted the county about these changes after a reader responded to our online survey soliciting questions or concerns about use of federal COVID relief funds.

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“If they received any of this funding, what are they doing with it?” the reader asked. “Why are they forcing the community to do their job of reuniting strays with their owners or caring for abandoned dogs? We don’t get paid for it. They do, and they are required to do so under (Ohio Revised Code).”

Decker said the center is responding to concerns from several years ago that ARC was euthanizing too many animals and a need to improve conditions at the shelter.

The number of dogs taken in at the shelter has dropped considerably, from 3,958 in 2018 to 1,641 in 2021, according to county annual reports. The number of euthanized dogs has dropped from 1,015 in 2018 to 168 in 2021.

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