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If you lose or find a pet, contact your local animal control officer

Families use every measure to find lost or missing pets. Putting up posters in the community is one way to get help locating their dog, cat or other pet. Contacting your local animal control office is another tool many people use.

Photos of missing or lost dogs, cats and other animals are constantly posted on the New Bedford Police Animal Control Facebook pages.

Some will be reported as found, regardless of whether they returned home on their own or were dropped off at the new animal control headquarters at 890 Brock Ave. to be reunited with their owners. Sadly, some are lost forever.

New Bedford Animal Control Director Emanuel “Manny” Maciel and two other animal control officers work seven days a week and log all calls about missing dogs, cats and other pets, including the owner’s contact information, when they went missing and where they were found it. This allows agents to match the descriptions of lost pets with those found and help reunite them with their owners.

While the state requires all lost pets to be held for seven days, New Bedford Animal Shelter holds lost pets for 10 days. Proof of rabies vaccination must be provided before releasing pets to their owners.

Maciel recommends that pet owners have their pets microchipped to make it easier to identify the rightful owner. It is illegal to keep someone else’s pets as they are considered property.

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Reporting lost pets in New Bedford

Pet owners can fill out a found animal form or a lost pet form on the New Bedford Animal Control page on the New Bedford Police Department website.

Owners of lost pets also have the option to upload photos of their animals to Finding Rover, an app linked to the animal control page that uses facial recognition technology to scan and match lost dogs with their owners.

When animal control picks up a dog, officers upload the photo to the Finding Rover database.

Forever Paws Animal Shelter in Fall River

New Bedford and Fall River have contracted with Forever Paws Animal Shelter in Fall River to house and care for all stray animals in those areas, as well as those surrendered by their owners.

Fall River Animal Control’s Facebook page also posts photos of found pets and directs people who recognize the posted animals to contact Forever Paws at 508-677-9154.

According to its Facebook page, Forever Paws’ mission is to give animals time through supervised intake and enable them to provide comprehensive treatment and care to stray, abused or abandoned animals.

Forever Paws operates under no-kill practices, provides care for all treatable conditions with no restrictions on length of stay, and is committed to educating future generations to promote a compassionate and humane attitude toward all animal species.

The nonprofit organization relies on donations, fundraising and dedicated benefactors and supporters and is open by appointment only.

Lost your pet in Acushnet?

In Acushnet, the animal control officer responds to all dog and animal complaints and ensures lost dogs are taken to Lakeville Animal Shelter.

Lakeville Animal Control Officers can only accept stray dogs from the Acushnet Animal Control Officer, available at 508-998-9040.

Lost your pet in Dartmouth?

In Dartmouth, the city has a shelter contract with the Humane Society & Shelter of South Coast, located on Ventura Dr. 31 in Dartmouth.

Animals picked up by animal control are taken to the Humane Society and provided with food and shelter until an owner is found. If no owner is found, the animal will be assessed and put up for adoption after the required holding period.

There is an answering machine in the office that is checked regularly during working hours. Callers are asked to leave a clear message and phone number as there is no one in the office.

Lost your pet in Fairhaven?

The Fairhaven Animal Control Officer operates out of the Fairhaven Animal Shelter at 200 Bridge St in Fairhaven and can be reached at 508-979-4028 and by email at [email protected].

The Fairhaven Animal Control and Shelter also has an official Facebook page.

Standard-Times staff writer Kathryn Gallerani can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @kgallreporter. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times today.