How to Respond If Your Pet is Missing

by catfood

Sue Sternberg

Getting the word out as soon as possible is the key to returning your dog or cat in peace and safety. Do not anticipate that your pet will return on his own right away.

  • As soon as you realize your pet is missing, spread the news. Keep beautiful, clear photos on available just in case, and always make sure your cats and dogs are wearing collars with identification tags. Although having your dog microchipped is a great way to identify him, you should always make sure he has a visible collar and tags on.
  • Make a ton of posters. Keep it simple: “LOST DOG (or cat)!” should be at the top in large, bold, and easy-to-read letters (even from a moving car). Add a brief summary or breed description after that, like “Striped grey and black short-haired cat” or “Beige, wire-haired terrier”. Never assume that people will be knowledgeable about your particular pure breed; instead, give a description. Include the animal’s name; it can make it easier for someone to find and capture your pet, and it also raises your pet to the level of a valued family member rather than simply another missing animal statistic. Don’t specify a reward’s value in the advertisement but do offer one. At the bottom of the poster, write your phone number in big letters.
  • Create several index cards with the same information and hand them out to every house in the vicinity of the spot where your pet vanished. The cards can also be adhered to doors or windshields. In order to increase the likelihood that someone will contact you if they find your lost pet, stop and converse with everyone you come across. Please encourage people to check their sheds and barns, especially at night when your family pet might be frightened.
  • Place a “Lost” ad in your local newspaper the first morning your pet goes missing. Usually, these advertisements are free.
  • GET THE WORD OUT! If they know you’ve lost a pet and are concerned, afraid, and desperately trying to find it, more people will call you if they see an animal in the woods, on the road, or in their backyard.
  • Call your animal’s name when stepping outside. Recruit a group of family and friends to conduct an extensive inspection of the region from all angles, along the roads, and as the crow flies. Avoid speculating about where your pet may or may not have gone since YOU CAN NEVER BE SURE. The best times to call for your pet are between twilight and sunrise. If you must make a call while driving, proceed cautiously, leave all windows open, pull over frequently, and turn the ignition off.
  • Directly contact each of your neighbors.
  • Call veterinary hospitals outside of your neighborhood, especially ones that provide emergency care. Occasionally, somebody may pick up a stray animal and bring it to a distant clinic. The information is disseminated via almost all neighborhood kennels, animal shelters, animal control and dog control officers, local police and state troopers, the highway department, dog training clubs, and grooming shops. Do not ponder whether he will be able to return home.
  • Instead of relying on the information offered by neighborhood dog pound and animal shelters, go through and inspect each dog and cat there DAILY.
  • Do not give up!
  • Cats and dogs frequently wander out in places you wouldn’t expect them to. Try everything, look everywhere, and let everyone know. You would be surprised at how many people would be kind, come out to help you with your search, offer encouraging words and words of hope, and suggest places to go where other stray animals may have gone.
  • Even the nicest and most social pets can quickly turn into terrified creatures. Even your own adorable pet may hide from strangers when it is lost, run away if it sees someone, or even run away from you. Pets move far more quickly than people do, so chasing after a missing one would just worry them more. Instead, sit down on the floor and speak normally, stating his name and other well-known terms over and over. A fearful animal would usually wait a few minutes or hours before coming closer to you.
  • Rarely, you might need to buy or rent a humane live trap, set it up, and capture a scared, errant pet. These are usually borrowed or rented from nearby animal shelters, and they come in sizes that are appropriate for dogs and cats.
  • Please repeat: DON’T GIVE UP! Instead of waiting a few hours “to see if he’ll come home on his own,” be proactive in your search, enlist the help of many others, and start spreading the word right away. You need those early hours to distribute flyers and put up posters.

Wondering about Why Adopt a Second Cat? Check it out on our latest post!


You may also like

Leave a Comment