Responsible Pet Ownership
On this page:
- Directory of Animal Services
- Local Veterinarians
- Finding Your Lost Pet
- Breeding Your Pet
- How To Quarantine Your Pet
- Your Pet & Your Vacation
Directory of Animal Services
- Animal Control Center - 402-441-7900
- A city agency (a division of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department) providing the following services: regulate uncontrolled animals; bite and attack investigations caused by aggressive animals; rabies control; cruelty and neglect investigation; stray and unlicensed animals; injured animals rescue; dead animal pickup; lost and found records; licensing service; enforce city ordinances; educational programs; wildlife removal and assistance; animal information and referral.
- Capital Humane Society - 402-441-4488
- A private, non-profit organization providing a temporary home for unwanted pets and animals; animals ambulance service; adoptions; pet therapy programs; euthanasia; cremation and burials; advocate for enforcement for city and county ordinances; community education.
- Veterinary Emergency Service - 402-489-6800
- After-hour emergency small animal veterinary service. Caller is referred to veterinarian on duty.
- Raptor Recovery - 402-994-2009
- Volunteer organization: Care of injured or orphaned birds of prey; educate public on the value of raptor; assist in research and management of raptor population in the wild.
- Wildlife Rescue Team - 402-473-1951
- Volunteer organization: Raise, rehabilitate and release orphaned or injured wildlife (except birds of prey); provide educational programs for schools and civic groups.
- Lancaster County Sheriff's Department - 402-441-6000
- Respond on an emergency basis to abuse or mistreatment of animals outside the city of Lincoln. Enforcement of state statutes regarding animals within Lancaster County, outside of Lincoln.
- Coalition for Pet Protection - 402-434-7922
- An association of concerned individuals and animal organizations created to promote better conditions for pets.
- Lincoln Animal Ambassadors - 402-817-1168
- Lincoln Animal Ambassadors promotes enriching our community through progressive thinking, education, awareness and public support. We are committed to improving the lives of animals and alleviating cruelty in Lincoln and the surrounding area.
Vet Emergency Services - 402-489-6800
Finding Your Lost Pet
Your pet is missing and you have no idea where it may be. This is not the time to panic. Stay calm and follow the instructions below; your chances of finding your pet will be better.
Once you discover your pet is missing, don't wait. Organize your family, neighbors and friends into search teams. Equip each team with a current photo of your pet so you can inquire of people who may have seen the missing animal.
Have one team search the immediate area around your home. Look in your yard, alleys, backyards or neighboring houses, streets and garages. Extend your search to area parks, woods, drainage ways and schoolyards. These often attract dogs. Constantly call your pet's name. Cats may hide in small sheltered places such as under bushes, shrubs, porches and cars, or inside sheds, garages and boxes.
If you hear barking, meowing or whining, it may be your pet calling for help. It may also be sounding off about another animal or wildlife.
Another team can check with your neighbors—they may have seen it and they may be willing to keep an eye out for it. Newspaper and mail carriers, as well a s people who make regular deliveries in your are, may be of some help. Show people the picture of your pet; it may help them place your pet and where it may have been heading.
Contact Animal Control
In Lincoln, you can call Animal Control. Describe your pet to them. It may be possible that one of the officers picked your pet up while it was running loose or it's being confined by a citizen. Animal Control maintains lost and found records on animals which they have impounded (brought to the animal shelter), found or lost by individuals, injured animals and the unfortunate animals which were found dead on the streets.
Call us at 402-441-7904, Mon - Fri. 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. so we can check the records of animals found.
Visit the Local Animal Shelter
Visit the local animal shelter (Capital Humane Society). Your description of your pet may not fit the picture in someone else's mind. Look at all the animals. If your animal is not there, leave a picture with your name and phone number. Visit the shelter every other day. It is important to keep checking. There is a maximum holding period of 72 hours. After this time, the animal become the legal property of the Humane Society and can be euthanized. Don't let this happen to your pet!
Place "Lost" Ads and Prepare Posters
Place newspaper ad in lost/found section. Posters should include the following:
- At least 8.5" x 11" in size
- Recent photo of your pet
- Color, size, weight, age, sex of pet
- Other Features (scars, marking, collar)
- Where animal was last seen
- Your contact information
Make copies of your poster and post them in prominent locations such as grocery stores, Laundromats, pet shops, grooming parlors, and veterinary establishments.
Make Sure It Doesn't Happen Again
Hopefully, you will be reunited with your pet. Both of you won't want to go through that experience again.
Try to determine why your pet ran off. Check fencing and gates. Did your dog chew through a rope? Did your pet escape through an unlatched door?
Spaying or neutering your pet may discourage your pet from wandering.
Make sure all your pets have collars with current licenses—this will help Animal Control locate you faster if your pet gets loose. A pet license is the best protection you can give your pet against a long and painful separation. An animal wearing a license tag will be delivered home to you when it is found, or if you are not home when the officer calls, you will be notified of its location.
What Should You Do If You Find an Animal
If you find a stray animal, remember, it's probably someone's pet. Help reunite the pet with it owner by:
- Confining the animal to an enclosed area.
- Call Animal Control (402-441-7900). Animal Control can pick up the pet and take it to the animal shelter so the owner can easily find it.
- If you wish to keep the animal at your house, make every effort to find the animal's owner. Call Animal Control (402-441-7904, Mon - Fri. 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.) to see if someone has reported a missing pet. Keep in contact with Animal Control and the animal shelter. Look in the lost ads of your local paper. Place a found ad in the paper.
- If the owner cannot be found, contact Animal Control so the animal can be delivered to the animals shelter for possible adoption.
Breeding Your Pet
A lot of pet owners have considered breeding their pet at one time or another. If you are thinking of breeding your pet, then you should be aware of some facts and responsibilities.
AKC or CFA registration is not an indication of quality. Even pure-bred animals have birth defects. If you plan on breeding because you "want another dog or cat just like the one you have", it probably won't work out. Offspring aren't always like their parents and no two animals are alike. If you really want another pet for yourself, why not take an animal who is already homeless?
Breeding really isn't a money making process because there are certain expenses involved. For example, health care, food, facilities, and advertising are all expenses that have to be paid for in order to breed and sell the animal.
Many first time breeders will find that it's hard to sell puppies or kittens because they aren't established as breeders yet. Before breeding, you should consider the time and expenses that may incur by not being about to sell the animals until months later.
Joy Of Birth
Many people believe seeing the birth precess of breeding is an educational experience for their children. But, what they don't realize is that the birth process often causes problems. For example, some animals have severe delivery problems or die during labor, and a puppy or kitten may be born dead or deformed. Also sometimes after birth, the mother may ignore or injure her new babies and the birth may not occur at a time when children are present.
Breeding animals takes a lot of time and care. Most breeders claim that they spend well over 130 hours of labor in raising and average litter. All this time is spent on daily checking, weighing, socialization, grooming and training. The nursery also needs to be clean.
Most pure-bred animals that haven't been spayed or neutered are more nervous and harder to confine. They also experience a higher rate of cancer as they age, in comparison to animals that are spayed or neutered.
Each year, there are over five million dogs and cats put to death in animal shelters across the country. Nearly a quarter of these are purebred cats or dogs with "papers".
Whether or not you choose to breed your pet is your decision. Just be aware of these responsibilities and be careful in choosing the right buyer for your puppies or kittens. After all, you wouldn't want your grand puppies or kittens to die an unpleasant death.
How To Quarantine Your Pet
- Under what conditions may I quarantine my pet at home?
If you have:
- proof of current rabies vaccinations for your pet or if Animal Control records indicate your pet is current on rabies
- your pet is current on its license
- you meet requirements for the Home Observation Agreement
- your pet has not bitten previously
A $25 returnable deposit is also required
- Why does my pet have to be placed under observation or quarantine?
State Statutes and Lincoln Municipal Code both require a quarantine or observation period of 10 days whenever a bite occurs that breaks the skin.
Rabies vaccines work by exposing the animal to a form of the virus that doesn't cause the disease in your pet. The vaccines are very effective and safe. However, the immune systems of animals vary from one to another, so no vaccine has 100% guarantee.
The 10 day period is the time during which rabies virus is shed through a cat or dog's saliva and symptoms of rabies will appear.
Rabies is a disease that is fatal to humans, if they do not receive a rabies vaccination as quickly as possible. There is no way to test a live animal for rabies.
- What is the first thing I should do after obtaining a Home Observation Agreement?
- Contact your veterinarian for an appointment on the 10th day from the date of the bite.
- Is the owner the only person who can quarantine the pet at home?
- Usually the owner is the one responsible in these matters, but the Animal Control officer can approve another responsible adult to quarantine the pet if the need arises.
- Where must I quarantine the pet?
- In your house or apartment where it cannot come in contact with another animal or humans excluding immediate family members for the duration of the quarantine.
- Can my animals go outside during the quarantine period?
- Yes, only if you are in attendance at all times and the animal stays on your property. The animal must be leashed. Leashing means that the adult owner or guardian of the animal is holding one end of the leash or chain. Leashes or chines can be a maximum of six feet long.
- Can I put my pet outside on a secure chain or leash in my yard if I am out with the animal?
- Yes, but only if the animal is in direct view. You may not leave the animal unattended.
- Can I leave the city with my pet during the quarantine period?
- No. Quarantine animals may not leave the city limits.
- Can I get my animals vaccinated for rabies or spay/neutered during quarantine?
- No. You must wait until the quarantine period is over.
- When is the quarantine over?
- Quarantine periods last for 10 full days from the day of the bite, but the quarantine is not over until a veterinarian has examined your pet on the 10th day and completed the exam portion under the Home Observation agreement.
- Will I see the Animal Control officer after my pet is placed under quarantine?
- An Animal Control officers may visit you anytime during the quarantine to check confinement and the animals health. If there are times when you are normally not at home, please share this information with the officer. Failure to make the animal available for inspections may result in citations and/or legal action.
- What will happen to me if I fail to follow these steps while my pet is at home?
- Failure to quarantine properly is a misdemeanor. You can be fined $25 to $500. You will have your annual impounded and confined at the Animal Shelter. This will cost you both impound and boarding fees.
- You can not:
- take your animal for walks during quarantine
- take your dog to obedience class, to visit friends, to pet shows or other trials
- kennel the animal outdoors by itself during quarantine
Your Pet & Your Vacation
You have your vacation all planned. Everything is packed you know where you're going and how you're getting there. Have you thought about what you're going to do with your pet? You need to decide whether to take your pet with your or leave it at home. Your choice will depend on your pet's temperament, how long you'll be gone, and your budget.
Traveling can be a lot of fun for you and your pet. If you decide to take your pet with you, here are a few tips to make sure the adventure is fun for both of you.
Before you go:
Get a check-up. Have a veterinarian examine your pet to make sure it can handle traveling.
Keep your pet's vaccinations up to date
Current rabies vaccination and certificate are musts in case your pet is involved in a bite incident. Many hotels/motels and boarding facilities require proof of vaccination in order for your pet to stay there.
Have a health certificate and photo handy
These will help with identification in case you and your pet are separated.
Test your pet
Find out if your pet gets motion sickness by taking it for a drive. This will reduce unexpected accidents.
Contact the hotel or motel
Make sure your pet is welcome and under what conditions before you get there.
Train your pet
If you need to use a carrier, train your pet several days before you leave so it will find the carrier a familiar place to stay.
On the road
All of your packing is done, but what does your pet need?
A place to ride
If your pet cannot be held by someone for the duration of the trip you'll need to provide a carrier that has good ventilation, newspaper on the bottom, and enough room for your pet to stand up and turn around in.
Many areas have enforced leash laws to protect your pet and keep the two of you together.
Feed your pet a light meal several hours before you leave. Also take a bowl of ice cubes to allow you pet a drink without the mess.
Personal Pet Items
Take along your pets own blanket, bowls, toys etc. so it can enjoy some of the comforts of home while vacationing.
Stop frequently for exercise but never let your pet run loose. He or she will be happier and more cooperative if it can get out once in a while.
Never leave your pet unattended. Depending on the weather it could get very hot or very cold in your car. Your pet will get lonely and could become the target of pranks or thieves.
Leaving Your Pet at Home
Sometimes taking your pet with you isn't the best thing for you or your pet. If your pet doesn't like to travel, is very old, or is sick it is best to leave them behind. you do have other choices of where and with whom your pet will stay while you're gone.
Ask a friend
You can safely leave your pet at home if you find a trustworthy family member or friend who is willing to give your pet food, water, exercise and the attention it needs. Making a list can be very helpful in informing your friend how much and how often your pet should be fed and exercised. You should also include your veterinarian's phone number in case of an emergency. It's a good idea to contact Animal Control and give them the name and number of the person taking care of your pet in case your pet gets loose while your gone.
Hire a Pet Sitter
Pet sitters usually visit your home once a day for cats and twice for dogs. Their services include feeding, exercise, giving medication, changing cat litter and providing the tender loving care your pet needs while you're gone. Most sitters are insured and will provide you a log of their visits and your pet's behavior. Be sure to ask for references, this will make it easier to get to know the work habits of your sitter. Hiring a pet sitter might cost more than asking a friend but their services are guaranteed.
Board Your Pet
Boarding your pet in a kennel has the advantages of providing professional care, good security, and around-the-clock supervision. Do some research on the kennels in your area to find the cost and the extent of care your pet will receive during its stay and the pick the kennel that would best suit your pet needs. Making a surprise visit is a great way to get a feel for the real environment your pet will be in. Ask for references.
Your veterinarian might also have space to board their client's pets. Here you have the advantage of immediate professional care in case of an emergency, but the staff may not have the time to provide the individual attention you'd like for your pet.