What happens to a wandering dog when it’s not microchipped and isn’t wearing a rabies license tag on it’s collar* and has been sent to the pound or other facility?**
If unclaimed, the pet might be put down in 5 to 7 days. The State of Missouri statues says 7 days. Saint Louis County says they hold a found pet for a minimum of 6 days. Saint Louis City ordinance says 5 days.
*Microchip contact details need to be kept up-to-date! Old phone numbers and old home address won’t help your lost pet. Every time you change technology and/or move, you must remember to update those details with the company that owns your pets microchip!
*Up-to-date rabies vaccinations are required by the State of Missouri and must be repeated at intervals. Each time the rabies vaccine is administered the veterinarian is required to give the owner a TAG that has a number on it. That number links the pet to the owner. The pet must wear the tag at all times.
Photos will help identify your pet more quickly and will make claiming it easier. It is a good idea to keep current photos from multiple angles and be sure to capture any unique markings in the photos. (source)
**Immediately look for your pet in your neighborhood! Followed by looking on www.stllostpets.org — a collaboration of the Animal Protective Association (APA), St. Louis City Animal Care and Control, St. Louis County Animal Care and Control and the Humane Society of Missouri. If your pet isn’t at one of these three agencies, you will have to call and then visit other locations in person and actually look in the holding pens for your dog. Do this as often as possible. Not all municipalities have animal shelters, so call before you visit. — list of agencies below, scroll down.
The Nextdoor social network has been very helpful at finding pets.
STL Craigslist: post ad under Lost & Found and/or Pets stlouis.craigslist.org
Fido Finder: Where Lost Dogs Are Found (free) fidofinder.com
Find Toto: Lost Dog, Missing Cat or Stolen Pet alert system findtoto.com
Post a free notice on petfinder.com
Statutes and Ordinances.
These Missouri statutes comprise the state’s dog laws. Among the provisions include laws for impounding loose dogs, licensing, rabies control, and the Animal Care Facilities Act, which regulates commercial breeders/pet shops.
Impounding of dogs (redemption – fees – penalty).
273.100. 1. Every city or town marshal of every incorporated city or town in this state, within their jurisdiction, shall take up and impound in a suitable place, the location of which place shall be given by a notice posted in some conspicuous place in his office, all dogs found running at large in their respective cities or towns without collars around their necks, marked as herein provided, and they shall keep such dogs for a period of one week, and at the expiration of such period shall put such dogs to death by humane methods.
St. Louis City Ordinance 66384 — read PDF
Significant entries from ordinance 66384 that relate to subject:
10.04.130 Notice to owner/guardian.
Upon the collection and holding of any animal there shall be kept in the records of the Animal Regulation Center a detailed description of each animal. The Animal Regulation Center shall immediately notify the owner/guardian from whom the animal was taken, if the owner/guardian can be determined. These records shall be available for public inspection.
10.04.170 Adoption of strays.
After notice required by Section 10.04.130 has been given, if the owner/guardian is known, and after the five (5) days of holding for all stray animals required by Ordinance 60878, or any subsequent ordinance, has elapsed, then such animal may be released to any person upon payment of the fees required under this section or any other ordinance and provided all other requirements for adoption are met. No dog or cat should be finally released unless procedures approved by the Commissioner of Health to have it spayed or neutered have been followed.
10.04.190 Disposal of unclaimed animals.
Animals not claimed by their owner/guardians shall be held for five days or for ten days (for dogs or cats under observation for rabies), after which the animals may be disposed of as provided for in Section 10.04.170 or 10.04.200 or may be humanely put to death in a manner prescribed by the Commissioner of Health.
10.04.350 Penalty for violation.
Every person found guilty for the first time of a violation of any provision of this ordinance shall be punished by a fine… (see Ordinance 66384 for all details).
AGENCIES to contact
North County Animal Control
4100 Seven Hills Dr, Florissant MO 63033. (314) 831-6500
South County Animal Control
77 Hunter Rd, Ladue MO 63124. (314) 726-6655
St. Charles County
St. Charles Humane Society (636) 949-9918
St. Charles City Animal Control (636) 949-3395
St. Charles County Animal Control (636) 332-3647
St. Peters City Animal Control (636) 949-7354
O’Fallon Animal Control (Police) (636) 240-3200, ext. 742
Lake St. Louis (Police) (636) 625-8018
Jefferson County Animal Control (636) 797-5577
Arnold Animal Control (636) 282-2387
Festus Animal Control (636) 937-6646, ext 115
Crystal City Animal Control (636) 937-4614
Open Door Animal Sanctuary (636) 671-3643
St. Louis County Municipalities
Not all municipalities have animal shelters. Please call first.
Berkeley (314) 524-3313
Crestwood (314) 729-4868
Creve Coeur (314) 872-2533
Florissant (314) 839-7655
Hazelwood (314) 838-5000
Overland (314) 428-1212
St. Ann (314) 427-8000
University City (314) 862-6767, ext. 380
Alton Area 5A Humane Society (618) 462-3721
Bellville Area Humane Society (618) 235-3712
Collinsville Animal Shelter (618) 346-5213
Franklin County Humane Society (636) 583-4300
Granite City APA (618) 931-7030
Lincoln County P.A.L.S. (636) 528-6286
Madison County Rabies Control (618) 692-1700
Metro East Humane Society (618) 656-4405
Specialized Animal Services
Animal Emergency Clinic – North (314) 739-1500
Animal Emergency Clinic – South (314) 822-7600
Animal Emergency Clinic – St Charles Co. (636) 240-5496
Animal Emergency Clinic – Jefferson Co. (636) 464-2846