SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A Sacramento animal shelter is waiving fees for owners to recover their lost pets over the next year.
Beginning Saturday, the Front Street Animal Shelter will waive owner reclamation costs for lost pets just before the Fourth of July holiday.
Holiday fireworks trigger many pets to run away from home and the weeks after Independence Day are often the busiest time of year for shelters nationwide, according to the release.
Phillip Zimmerman, the manager of the Front Street Animal Shelter, says that in the past, reclaim fees have helped offset the cost of caring for lost pets.
But for pet owners who are still recovering financially from the pandemic, Zimmerman says the fees might prevent a reunion.
“We are concerned that many animals may not be picked up because their families are experiencing financial hardship, and we don’t want cost to be a barrier,” Zimmerman explained in the release.
The waived fees will be covered by Friends of Front Street, a nonprofit organization that supports the shelter’s work.
“Our hope is that by getting more animals back to their original homes, additional space at the shelter will be created, animals will experience less stress and disease transmission, and resources can be used for those animals who truly have nowhere else to go,” explained Jim Houpt, president of Friends of Front Street.
In 2020, 44% of lost animals were claimed, which is more than the 33% of lost dogs and 10% of lost cats claimed nationally, according to shelter officials.
The fee waiver only applies to lost pets who are not abused or criminally neglected.
For pets who go missing over the Fourth of July weekend, shelter officials recommend owners post to their social media channels and neighborhood apps for at least a few weeks after pets run away.
Keeping in contact with neighbors and posting large missing posters in the lost pet’s neighborhood are also recommended.