Pender County Animal Shelter concerned over recent increase in missing dog reports

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BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — The Pender County Animal Shelter has received several calls recently from frantic dog-owners looking for their missing pets.

Workers say it’s been concerning to hear about so many disappearing canines in such a short time. They advise you to act quickly if your dog goes missing.

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“Don’t wait,” animal shelter manager Jewell Horton said. “If your pet’s missing, you need to start looking immediately.”

Horton says the number of people looking for their missing dogs around the area has increased dramatically over the past few weeks.

“We are getting a lot of phone calls about missing pets,” Horton continued. “We’re not getting as many calls about found pets. We’re not seeing as many posts on the lost and found page about people picking up and finding pets.”

Horton says the shelter receives these types of calls all the time. But the circumstances behind the recent spike in disappearances remains a mystery, especially considering the lost dogs aren’t being turned in to the shelter.

“We cannot imply exactly what is happening,” Horton said. “But all we know is we’re receiving an increase in calls about missing animals, and they’re not showing up here. And there’s really no evidence to support where they’re going. So we just kind of wanted to create awareness to that, they’re going somewhere and people need to take precautions to prevent it from happening.”

Although the increase in vanishing dogs has been alarming, Horton feels there’s an easy way to ensure your dog’s safety.

“We’re here as a line of defense for when they actually do get picked up by good, responsible people who want to do the right thing and get fluffy back home to you,” Horton added. “But we can’t do any more than that. You have to take the first step and be responsible for your pet.”

Horton says there are steps you can take to make sure your dog returns if it ever goes missing.

“Help us help you find your pets,” Horton added. “Identification, quality photos, microchip-microchip-microchip. These are ways that we can help you get fluffy back. Because that’s what we want to do.”

The Pender County Sheriff’s Office says it has not received any reports of missing dogs. Most pet owners have only posted on social media.