Losing your pet is a very traumatic experience because it feels like losing a member of your family.
Luckily, with swift and thoughtful reactions on your part, this temporary upset does not have to be a permanent reality.
If your pet is microchipped, is wearing a collar with a veterinary registration or is wearing a tag with your phone number on in, you are in great shape. The public usually responds very humanely and swiftly to help return an identified animal.
Animals wearing no identification are more at risk. If found by a citizen, the good samaritan usually phones animal control or local veterinarians to report their find.
So, for many reasons, this should be the first thing that you do as well.
As well, here is a list of suggestions that may be effective:
- Keep in constant contact with local shelters and shelters outside the city as well. One call is not enough!
- Make flyers containing a clear picture of the pet. One of the biggest mistakes pet owners make is to omit essential details. These include the color of the pet , if the picture on the flyer is black and white, a short description, unique markings, your phone number, the date the animal strayed and a motivational reward!
- Put flyers up around the neighbourhood, in shops, vet clinics and places that you have visited with your dog.
- Enlist the help of friends and neighbours to help you look. The more people involved, the better your chances of finding your pet.
- Place a lost ad in the paper and check the found section
- Let the neighbours, mail carrier, newspaper and other delivery people in your area know of your loss. They can be looking for your pet as they walk and drive your neighbourhood. Lost Cat:
- Place the kitty litter outside - while it may sound strange, this helps nervous or shy cats who may have bolted return to a site that "smells" familiar
Lost Dog: Dogs can travel large distances especially when they are panicked. Some dogs can travel as far as 20 kilometers in a single day. Therefore extend your search to a large area.
Prevention is a pet’s best friend. As an animal owner you have a responsibility to keep your pet in the safest environment possible. Make sure your property is fully fenced. Identification is essential; a collars with ID is the minimum. Phone your vet about getting a microchip implanted. Keep your phone and address current with whoever microchipped or tattooed your pet.
Do not give up hope after a few days. There are so many incredible stories of animals finding their way home after months. Mine was one of them!