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You have 10 days to get Fido

I've read the recent sad stories about the two pet cats who were trapped by neighbors, taken to the county shelter and euthanized within hours of arrival. Now I am afraid for my dog. Eubie has both a collar with tags and a microchip. But what if he gets out of my yard somehow and ends up being taken to the shelter? Will the same fate happen to him?

— Jenni D., Phoenix

Let's assume, because it's just too sad to pretend otherwise, that your theoretically roving Rover makes it to the Jackson County Animal Care and Control shelter in one piece, Jenni. And let's further say, hypothetically speaking, he arrives on the first of some random month. That being the case, you and Eubie will have a full 10 days to reconnect with one another, according to shelter director Colleen Macuk.

"Nothing is ever done before 10 days with (dogs) that have identification and known owners," Macuk said.

After 10 days, Eubie would be considered abandoned, and become Jackson County property. But the shelter would still attempt to find him a home, if he is deemed adoptable, she added.

Macuk stressed that people missing a pet should always contact their local shelter. In fact, they should visit the shelter and look for their animal.

Sometimes an owner's description of their pet can vary from what staffers are seeing. Miscommunication can be avoided by a personal visit. The county shelter is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Macuk said.

The shelter office is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., she added, saying personnel are happy to make off-hour appointments with owners who are searching for their lost pets.

We say we hope no one would leave their pooch in a shelter for 10 days. On top of the trauma to the dog being "abandoned" in a strange environment, there are citation fines and boarding fees racking up.

Macuk said the county tries to be a little flexible on boarding fees with owners who struggle to bail out their pooches. But fines and citation amounts are standard and cannot be amended, she said.

"We have to be fair to everyone," Macuk said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.