The following is intended to assist the residents of Ottawa, Kansas and surrounding areas with lost and found companion animals.
The only way an animal can tell us where he or she belongs is through the information contained on his or her identification tag. Unfortunately, the majority of animals that arrive at our Shelter, are lacking this information. Less than 10% of the stray animals housed at the Shelter each year are reclaimed! The minimum holding period for a stray animal in the State of Kansas is only 3 business days. After that time, animals become the property of the Shelter and are placed following the guidelines established by the State of Kansas and the Prairie Paws Animal Shelter Board of Directors. (For more information on our adoption process, please click "Adopt" on the header of this page.)
Please use caution when approaching any animal that is unknown to you. The animal may be sick, injured, or scared and his or her behavior may be unpredictable. If you have found a cat or dog and can approach and transport it safely, take it to the Shelter during business hours as soon as possible. Owners may be actively searching for their companion and will be in contact with the Shelter to determine if their pet has been found. Just because an animal is without tags, does not mean that it is without an owner. Animals held longer than three days are considered the property of the individual holding such animal and are considered that individuals legal responsibility.
Cat traps are available during business hours from the Shelter. Shelter staff will instruct you on use if needed. A $50 deposit is collected until the trap is returned.
Animal control officers can be contacted by calling 785-242-2561 and are able to assist in the transport of injured or aggressive dogs as well as deceased cats and dogs.
Searching for a lost pet can be a very emotional experience. Following the steps below will increase your chances of being reunited with your beloved companion.
Please note: If you suspect that your pet has been stolen, call the police immediately at 785-242-2561.
1. As soon as you realize your pet is missing, call the Shelter at 785-242-2967 or email our intake office manager Julie Thornton Julie.Thornton@prairiepaws.org If no one is available to answer your call, leave a detailed message including the following information:
Date, time, and location the animal was last seen.
Physical description including color and sex as well as any distinguishing characteristics and collar/tag information.
Your name and a telephone number where you can be reached.
The above information may also be emailed to the shelter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please attach a picture if possible.
2. Visit the Shelter during business hours to view the incoming animals and ensure that a lost animal report has been recorded. Provide a recent photo of your pet to the Shelter staff to keep with the report.
3. Call the local veterinarians to report your missing pet in case it has been injured and transported for care. In Ottawa, call Mages Veterinary Clinic at 785-242-7822 or Ottawa Veterinary Clinic at 785-242-3538. Also in Franklin County, call Wellsville Veterinary and Chiropractic Clinic at 785-883-4774.
4. Post flyers on community bulletin boards and distribute them to neighbors as well as postal carriers, utility personal and animal control officers in your community.
5. Contact KOFO 1220, Ottawa's local AM radio station, at 785-242-1220. On-air personalities report the status of lost & found animals throughout the day.
6. Contact the Ottawa Herald by calling 785-242-4700 or visiting www.ottawaherald.com to place a lost or found ad. Lost animal advertisements carry a minimal fee while found animal advertisements can be posted free of charge.
7. Be cautious of pet-recovery scams. When speaking with an individual not associated with the Shelter, ask him or her to thoroughly describe the pet BEFORE you offer any information. Be extra cautious of anyone who insists that you provide a monetary payment for the return of your pet
8. Don't give up!! Animals have been reunited weeks, months, and even years after being separated from their owners!
Animals should be humanely confined when left alone and always properly tagged to reduce the risk of becoming lost!