A group of pets

Volusia County Animal Services recently started a new campaign to advocate for pet safety. The division is giving out free keychains to pet owners that can alert people that their pet is home alone.

The keychains read “My pet is home alone!” with the phone number for Volusia County Animal Services.

TAKE ONE! — These free keychains are distributed by Volusia County Animal Services. Keeping one on your person lets emergency services know, in the event of an emergency, that you have a pet at home.

According to Animal Services Director Adam Leath, the need for the project was highlighted during the pandemic.

“This was an idea born out of necessity. We were starting to see several instances of owners, who to no fault of their own, were separated from their pets,” Leath told The Beacon.

Safety measures like keychains can be useful during times of crisis, such as medical emergencies. If a pet owner cannot inform others that a pet needs to be taken care of, someone else can on their behalf.

“Pets are certainly a part of the family and need to be considered when a crisis happens,” Leath said.

When a person calls the number on the keychain, they will speak directly to a member of Animal Services dispatch who can gather information and ensure the owner’s pet is taken care of.

Leath says that they have already received positive feedback about the campaign.

“Even if it works one time, that’s one pet, one household and one more impact we can make in the community,” Leath said.

People can stop by the Volusia County Animals Services office at any time to get a keychain. To contact Animal Services, call 386-248-1790. Leath said the office will even mail a keychain if requested. Animal Services will also be at the DeLand Dog Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in Downtown DeLand.


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