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Pet tags fundraiser to benefit dog park

The only thing more heartbreaking than their message is their frequency. Taped in store windows, pinned on bulletin boards and stapled to telephone poles, the fliers read something like, "Lost Dog, Answers to Spot. Last seen in this neighborhood. If found, please call 555-1111. Reward."

Usually hand-written on notebook paper with one or more photographs of the dog (or cat), they can be an effective tool for reuniting owners with their lost pets. Or not.

In 2007, the Clallam County Humane Society animal shelter in Port Angeles received 448 stray dogs, 403 stray cats and 23 stray puppies from either private individuals or animal control workers.

Sequim Dog Park Pals is offering pet owners a better way to recover their furry friends and help the city's dog park at the same time.

The Pet Tags Lost Pet Recovery Program improves the chances of reuniting lost pets with their owners and can prevent having them taken to the animal shelter first, said John D'Urso, board member of

Sequim Dog Park Pals.

The volunteer group will be seeking $20 donations to support the park from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, at the at the Sequim Dog Park, 202 N. Blake Ave. Included in the cost of the donation will be the pet tag, D'Urso said.

When they receive their tags, owners call an 800 number and provide information about their pet that is kept on file under the number on the tag, he said.

When someone locates the lost pet, one telephone call to the 800 number will give all the information necessary to reunite it with its owner, D'Urso said.

The toll free phone number available is 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, he said.

"When people find lost pets they don't know where to call and usually you have to catch them right away," D'Urso said.

The tags' advantage over a microchip is that anyone can read them without the electronic wand necessary to read a microchip, he said.

"So that was the key, to get them back to their owners faster. In the 12 years or so they have been around, the program has been fairly successful," D'Urso said.

If your pet does get taken to the animal shelter, then you must pay $40 to get it out plus paying for a license and rabies shot if the pet doesn't already have those, he said.

The Sequim Dog Park is a 1.7-acre fenced, off-leash dog park on city land at Carrie Blake Park at 202 N. Blake Ave. that opened in March 2007.

The Dog Park Pals collected $15,000 in in-kind donations and $6,000 in cash to pay for the grass, sprinkler system and three poop-scoop bag stations at the park.

The group conducts ongoing fundraising, such as selling

T-shirts and inscribed bricks to line the park's entryway, to maintain and improve the park.

D'Urso said the next project being planned is installation of a coin-operated street light so the park can be used after dark.

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