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Only 12 per cent of stray cats reunited with owners: Winnipeg Humane Society

Global News / File

A Winnipeg woman has been making headlines for leaving no stone unturned in the search for her lost cat, but a spokesperson for the Winnipeg Humane Society said there are likely many other people across the city undergoing similar searches for a missing pet.

READ MORE: Determined St. James cat owner spends big bucks searching for beloved kitty

The Humane Society’s assistant manager, Anja Richter, told 680 CJOB that her organization sees between 2-3,000 stray cats a year, and a very small number of those – about 12 per cent – actually get reunited with their owners.

“We’ve been talking about having your cat tattooed and microchipped and the importance of getting a city license, but there’s still a lot of cats out there who don’t have identification,” she said.

“If you do lose your cat, please contact us so we can do a lost pet report and try to match the identification so we can hopefully return it home.”

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Richter said cat owners should keep a close eye on their pets when opening a door to the house, and that if an indoor cat does manage to sneak outside, they’re not likely to travel far.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Humane Society stands behind proposed cat declawing ban

“It’s probably going to hide close by,” she said. “Usually indoor cats are pretty scared when they go outside.”

Lost indoor cats, she said, also tend to have a different personality than strays who have been outside for a long time.

“Cats who are outdoor cats, you will most likely not be able to approach them,” she said.

“If it’s a community cat or a (house) cat who got lost, you can scoop it up, you can bring it to a vet office. They can check the tattoo and hopefully be able to reunite them.”

The Humane Society’s website offers contact information and tips if you’ve lost (or found) a pet, and Richter said there are a number of community organizations doing good work to help reunite pets and owners as well.

“There’s a Facebook page called Winnipeg Lost Pet Alert. They’re very active in the community, and they have lots of volunteers who go out and assist with searches.”

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