Keeping stray animals to a minimum

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Boutte
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Life on the street is hard. The majority of stray animals have either been abandoned by their owner or allowed by their owner to roam freely.

Being a responsible pet owner is much more than just providing adequate water, food and shelter.

A stray animal is considered to be a domesticated animal, Staff Sgt. Jason Gatiss, 509th Civil Engineer Squadron NCO in charge pest management. "The only difference is that a stray animal is homeless and wanders around looking for someone to feed them," said Gatiss. "Domestic animals are not limited to dogs and cats. They can also be hamsters, guinea pigs, caged pet bird and fish."

According to 509th Security Forces Squadron records, there are roughly 75 stray animals caught every year on-base.

"Unsupervised pets will breed, resulting in unwanted litters," said Staff Sgt. Allison Maitland, 509th SFS polices services NCO in charge. "Strays can bring in disease to people and other animals they come in contact with. They can also cause damage to government property."

The best way to get a pet back home is to keep an identification tag on them, according to Maitland.

Whiteman pet owners should follow the rules and regulations and reference the Whiteman Air Force Base Instruction 48-131/Domestic Animal Control Manual. It states that base residents must register and have a microchip inserted into their animals at the veterinary treatment facility within five duty days of their arrival to the base.

As outlined in WAFBI 48-131, security forces will issue a WAFB Form 8, Domestic Animal Violation. The form is used for multiple issues, such as registration, failure to control, excessive noise, abuse, neglect, damage caused by animal and excessive feces.

The form is then forward to base housing management for disposition. The 509th SFS may also issue a DD Form 1131/Cash Collection Voucher for confinement fees. If security forces cannot locate the owner within a reasonable amount of time, they will issue the cash collection voucher for food, water and shelter of the animal.

If necessary, a DD Form 139/Pay Adjustment Authorization will be issued if the fee from the cash collection voucher is not paid within 30 days.

Stray animals will be placed in the 509th SFS stray animal holding area no longer than 72 hours. Owners are notified by either the information on the registration tag or the information found on the inserted microchip.

The public will be notified through the base bulletin board sent out in an email if the owner has not been found.

"The best advice I can give is to maintain control of your pets," Maitland said. "If Airmen do not want their pets anymore, find them another owner or take them to a humane society or shelter. Do not let them go and assume someone else will take on ownership."

The 509th SFS advises the public to not attempt to catch any stray animals, as it may be rabid. To report a stray animal, Team Whiteman should notify the police services desk at 660-687-3700.

If they are native wild animals, (i.e. raccoons, opossum, skunks, woodchucks) call Civil Engineer customer service at 660-687-6350.

To get your pet micro-chipped, call the base veterinarian clinic at 660-687-2668.