I Lost my Pet, What do I do First?
May is Chip Your Pet Month and we’re talking about what you can do if your 4-legged bestie goes missing. Every year millions of pets go missing. About 26% of dogs return home, but for cats it’s less than 5%. Proper ID tags can only do so much and your pet may lose his collar while on the run. Using a more permanent form of identification like a microchip or tattoo can increase the chances your fuzzy bestie returns home.
If you’ve ever lost a pet you know it’s heartbreaking. When you realize your fuzzy, 4-legged buddy is missing it can be hard to focus on what to do next. Here are 4 things you can do to start your search:
1. Search your Home and Spread the Word –
You haven’t seen your pet in the last day and you’re worried she’s missing. The ASPCA recommends the following first steps:
• Determine that your pet is actually missing and not trapped or hiding in the house. Ask your family members/roommates when and where they last saw your pet
• Carefully take a look around the house paying special attention to places your pet likes to hide
• Try shaking the food dish or treat bag to lure your pet from their hiding spot (you can do this outside on your search too)
If you’re sure your pet is definitely not in your home it’s time to expand your search.
2. Neighbourhood Search
Enlist the help of neighbours, friends, and family members to search the neighbourhood for your pet. If you don’t find your pet the first time out don’t lose hope, “Missing Pet” posters can be a big help. There are a lot of poster templates available online. Missing Pet Partnership has some great tips you can use to punch up your poster:
• Make the poster GIANT
• Use colours that are easily visible and eye-catching
• Place posters in busy areas, in areas where your pet was last seen, and near where your pet went missing
• Be brief
• Choose a good quality picture that shows your pet in detail
For more of their great tips visit: http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-tips/posters-5555/
3. Online and Social Media
There are plenty of websites designed to help you find your pet: Petlynx and Petfinder are just 2 options. Your local SPCA, Humane Society, or city-run animal centre is a good place to start. Contact these places via their website or Facebook page.
There are many Facebook pages dedicated to helping people find their pets. Search Facebook for “missing pets in” and include your area.
Online classified sites like Kijiji and Craigslist have pages dedicated to missing pets. Your post will move down the list as time goes on. But be careful when using these sites, there are scammers who will promise to return your pet to you for a price.
4. Veterinary Clinics
There’s always a chance that your pet has been injured and someone has brought her to a nearby vet. Contact the local veterinary clinics to ask if your pet is there.
We want to hear from you! Do you have tips for finding lost pets? Make a comment below or on our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DoonGo/
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Check out the sources used to write this blog:
• Lost a Pet? – http://www.spca.bc.ca/pet-care/lost-and-found/lost-a-pet.html
• Posters – http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-tips/posters-5555/
• Finding a Lost Pet – http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/finding-lost-pet