The Fort Bragg Veterinary Center is not the place to call for stray animal issues. The center does not handle any stray animals, and will refer callers to Cumberland County Animal Control if they receive a call about a stray dog or cat that an individual has obtained, said Capt. Jeremy Lewis, Branch Chief Veterinary Services, FBVC.

Lewis said that Families should first call the Fort Bragg Military Police if they see a stray animal running around. He recommends using common sense when trying to approach the animal.

“A lot of times, the friendly animals are going to run up to someone, they’re not going to run away from them,” he said. “So if they see one running away from the person, it’s probably better to call the MPs.”

Once the MPs are able to restrain the animal, they will call Cumberland County animal control officers.

“Most of the animal control officers carry a microchip scanner, so a lot of times they’ll scan on the spot and there’s a couple phone numbers we can call where they look up the microchip number,” Lewis said. “If the pet has been registered ... usually they’ll try to contact that owner right away and reunite them without taking them off post.”

If the animal is not microchipped, the animal control officer will take the pet to the Cumberland County Animal Shelter. Federal law requires the shelter to hold animals for three business days after pickup, according to Lewis.

It is important for pet owners to keep their animals properly enclosed. If a pet gets loose, MPs can cite the owner for having an animal at large, Lewis said.

“If they have multiple instances where they’re not restraining their pet, the garrison commander can request the animal be removed from post because they’re not exercising responsible pet ownership.”

To report an animal on the loose, call the Fort Bragg MPs at 396-0391. To inquire about a lost pet, call the Cumberland County Animal Shelter at 321-6852.