What to Do if Your Pet is Lost
Pets become lost for a variety of reasons: they may escape from home through an open door or window or climb over or dig under a fence; they may bolt away while on a leash, escape from a car window or become lost during a disaster like a tornado or hurricane and it is not uncommon for pets to be stolen out of their yards.
Prevention — Just in Case
Keep a current picture of your pet handy and make a list of local telephone numbers in advance. It’s easier than trying to look up numbers or thinking of where to call after your pet is lost and you are frantic. Include the local animal control officers, both in your town and those surrounding yours, veterinary offices, shelters and pounds.
Identify your pet. It’s best to have a combination of a collar and tag along with either a tattoo or microchip. Be sure to register the microchip number with the manufacturer so your pet can be matched to you. Fit your pet’s collar tight enough so that it won’t slide over his or her head. You should be able to put two or three fingers under it (so it is not too tight). Most cat collars now come with either an elastic or breakaway feature to protect them from being caught on an object.
If Your Pet Is Missing
- Make flyers and include the pet’s photo. Provide a good description of the pet and include name, breed, age, color and markings and any special identifying characteristics. You should also list your contact information and the date and area where the pet was last seen. Place flyers all over the neighborhood or the area where the pet was last seen and on community bulletin boards.
- Call all the numbers on the contact list. Let them know your pet is missing. Drop off flyers to them so they have the photo. Call the microchip company to inform them the pet is missing.
- Check with the local humane society or shelter.
- Alert neighbors or residents in the area.
- Call any local radio stations that run public service announcements.
- Place an ad in your local paper in the lost and found column.
- Visit any place the pet might return to: a former home, old neighborhood or previous owner, for example.
Once your pet is found, don’t forget to notify those you’ve alerted that the search is off.
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