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Animal Control works to return lost animals after storms

Even a few days after Tuesday's storms, the Amarillo Animal Control is still dealing with some of the after effects.

Whether it's because of a broken fence, or sheer fear of the storm, bad weather can sometimes cause pets to get loose and when they do, that leaves Animal Control left to pick up the pieces, and the animals.

As early as Tuesday night directly following the storm, the number of calls for service at Animal Control began to climb.

"We see a lot of fences that have blown down, dogs that are normally secure in the backyard panic and get scared during these storms and they will find a way out," said Mike McGee, Director of Amarillo Animal Control.

A common problem, McGee said, that follows most big storms.

"Our task at that point is to secure them and get them back home as quick as possible," said McGee. "If we can't get them back, then we bring them in here and impound them until an owner comes looking for them."

Many injured birds also end up at Animal Control after a storm, like the three Mississippi Kites currently housed at the shelter. They're an endangered species making it illegal to put them down. They'll stay there until a rehabilitator comes to pick them up. Although it can't be stopped, the shelter also at least slows down its three day euthanasia rate following a storm.

"Usually try to give an extra day, 24 to 48 hours, depending on the circumstances of the dog," said McGee.

When owners do show to claim their furry friend lost due to weather, fees won't interfere.

"Normally our practice is to not charge fees other than the state mandatory rabies vaccination if the owner can't provide proof," explained McGee. "We try not to take advantage of Mother Nature's ability to hammer somebody's fence or cause the dog to run loose."

The best way to keep your pet from getting impounded, is to have it micro-chipped or wear a collar with identification. That way, McGee said, it's easier for Animal Control to return it should it ever get lost.

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