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Humane Society of Huron Valley reports record drop in 'return to owner' rates for lost pets

Hershey, a lost, unclaimed dog at the Humane Society of Huron Valley
Humane Society of Huron Valley
Hershey, a lost, unclaimed dog at the Humane Society of Huron Valley

The Humane Society of Huron Valley is reporting a troubling trend with fewer people being reconnected with their lost pets.

Humane Society officials say a chocolate lab mix they have named Hershey is a prime example of the problem. He was wandering around the Barton Hills area of Ann Arbor more than a week ago, showed up on someone’s porch, but had no tag or microchip. And he has been sitting at the Humane Society ever since.

Including cases like Hershey, they say, they have the lowest "return to owner" rate in some 20 years.

It is not only sad for the owners and pets, says Humane Society spokesperson Wendy Welch, it is also adding to the overcrowding at their facility.

“We have a waitlist for dogs which is pretty unprecedented for us as far as people in the community when they want to surrender their dogs we ask that they keep them a little while longer until we have space because we have so many strays that we have not been able to reunite with their families.”

Welch encourages people who have lost pets in Washtenaw County to reach out to the Humane Society of Huron Valley. She also encourages pet owners to make sure their dogs and cats have an ID microchip.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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