NYC shelters cut back on help

Lost pets in New York City may now be harder to find. CBS New York reported recently that shelter workers with New York City Animal Care and Control will no longer search the shelters for lost pets without identification.

According to the CBS story, shelter staff members will continue to try to return animals with microchips, ID collars and licenses to their homes. But for unidentified pets, the person who lost the pet will need to come in to one of the city’s three shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten island.

On an archived version of the AC&C website, advice to pet owners who have lost their pet says to first call the shelter nearest to where the pet was lost, and the staff will search the shelter’s computer records for you. If the animal is not found right away, filing a lost animal report will prompt the staff to continue searching found animal reports.

However, the current lost and found page directs pet owners to go directly to the three centers to look for their animal.

According to CBS, the new policy is due to $1.5 million in budget cuts to the department over the last two years. The exception to the policy is that staff will continue to assist handicapped pet owners by phone.