Moves are stressful for everyone — including the family pet. Pets can sense stress and a change in routine can be difficult for them. If possible, keep your pets in a quiet, secure area while movers pack up or unload your belongings. Movers will have your door open while they move boxes and furniture, and a pet may slip out the door undetected. Make sure you keep a collar with an ID tag on your pet at all times. Ensure the tag has your current phone number on it. It is also a good idea to microchip your pets. Remember to keep the microchip’s contact information up-to-date. If your pet escapes during any part of your move, you want the animal shelter that scans the chip to be able to contact you.
Depending on where you live, your pet may face new outside dangers as human activity increasingly encroaches on wildlife habitat. Wildlife that your pet may encounter include beavers, coyotes, gophers, raccoons, rodents, skunks, even deer, bears and moose. The best way to avoid wildlife around your home is to limit any behavior that might attract it. Do not leave animal kibble unattended outdoors; raccoons, coyotes and even squirrels that eat pet and people food can lose their fear of humans and may become aggressive. Keep trash in containers with lids that are animal-resistant. In addition to larger animals, smaller pests such as fleas, ticks and spiders can be extremely dangerous as they carry disease to pets and humans, Keep your dog on a short leash in wooded areas, and check for ticks and bites on your animal when you get home. Visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/nuisance for a full list of wildlife dangers and how to avoid them, and the Washington State Department of Health’s web page describing how to avoid pests, such as ticks and spiders, at www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Pests.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Puget Sound Region
16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
Mill Creek, WA 98012 425-775-1311
The WDFW manages and ensures the long-term well-being of fish and wildlife, especially as humans continue to encroach on wildlife habitats. The website offers tips about living with many of the species across the state. For information about wildlife in the Puget Sound region specifically, visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regions/region4.
Pierce County Animal Services
2401 S. 35th St., Room 200
Tacoma, WA 98409 253-798-7387
Animal Services, part of the Pierce County Auditor’s Office, provides a variety of services, including pet licensing, animal adoptions, noise complaints, investigation of animal neglect and cruelty, enforcement of county and state animal ordinances and laws, and connecting lost pets with their owners. For more information, visit the office’s website.
Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County
2608 Center St.
Tacoma, WA 98409 253-383-2733
The state’s largest animal welfare agency, the Humane Society of Tacoma & Pierce County finds loving homes for more than 6,000 pets a year, reunites thousands of lost pets with their owners, provides medical care for ill and injured shelter pets, and offers comprehensive low-cost spay-neuter programs. For more information on the animal shelter and pet adoption, visit the society’s website.
Veterinary services in Pierce County are plentiful; see the Advertiser Directory in this guide to connect with local providers. Another source for connecting with a veterinarian is the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association website, http://wsvma.org.
Pets for Patriots
Pets for Patriots’ vision is to end animal homelessness in the United States while giving our military veterans and their families the greatest “thank you” of all: the extraordinary love of a companion pet. It makes this happen through its nationwide shelter and veterinary networks, military and veteran organizations, and a public that values the lives of both the vulnerable and heroic among us.
To learn more about adopting a pet, visit https://petsforpatriots.org/adopt-a-pet/how-it-works.