• How To Find A Lost Pet

  • Your puppy darts out the door, your cat sneaks past as you are bringing in groceries or your child leaves the door open on accident. Lost pets are every owners nightmare. The worry, the heartache, the anger and the downright fear.

    The best step you can take, is to make sure that your pet has the proper ID tags and is micro-chipped. Make sure all information is up to date. This will make it easy for the person who may potentially find your pet to reach you.

    If the unthinkable happens, don’t despair, there are steps you can take to better your chances at reuniting with your lost pet.

    1. Check your home and property THOROUGHLY
    Many times, a pet will not wander far or may even be hiding in the home if something has frightened them. The longer you wait to search for them, the more chance there is that they have moved further away from home turf. Check under bushes and decks, behind furniture, in trees or even on the roof (yes, cats climb up there too).
    Put out a pet’s favorite item, something that smells like home such as a tee-shirt worn by you. With cats, sprinkle a bit of their used litter around the yard. If they are close by, this may lure them back.

    2. Search your neighborhood
    Ask neighbors if it is ok to check their yards and garages also. The best time to search for pets, especially cats, is late at night or before dusk when the world around has quieted down. Use a flashlight when looking, many times the light will reflect off their eyes when otherwise you may not have spotted them. Take along a bowl of food to shake or some smelly treats.

    3. Make fliers
    Fliers are the most common way that owners are reunited with their pets. In some cities, you must obtain permission before attaching fliers to any street signs or poles. Check with your city before posting because they can and will take them down. Once you have obtained permission, post fliers within at least a two mile radius. It is best to use a color photo of your pet and to make sure the writing is large enough to see from a passing car. Offering a reward will also get people’s attention.

    4. Get your neighbors, friends and children involved
    Hand out fliers to those in your neighborhood. You can shrink down your flier so you can fit four to a page. This makes a great sized handout for when you go door to door. I highly suggest going door to door in your subdivision as well as the neighboring areas. If you have or know children in your area who have cell phones, ask if they can forward a message to their friends and so on. Children are outside much more often that adults and have a greater chance of spotting the lost pet.

    5. Internet
    Post on Craigslist in the pets section as well as the lost and found section. List your missing pet on www.petfbi.org Check daily to see if someone may have found and listed your pet. Use Facebook and Twitter to get the word out. The more eyes looking, the better the chances.

    6. Local Businesses, Vet Clinics and shelters
    While some businesses will have rules against displaying lost posters, many others will allow them. Look for gas stations or stores that have bulletin boards and are in frequently traveled areas. Always ask permission before putting up a flier.
    Don’t just call the area vet’s offices and shelters. Go to them, bring them a flier and keep checking back! Shelters are so overwhelmed that they may not have the resources to call you. Sadly, many pets go missing so it is up to you to check. Do this every couple of days at the bare minimum.

    7. Put an ad in the local paper

    While not every lost pet makes it back home, if you follow these steps you have a much greater chance at a happy ending. Yes, it takes time, effort and even money but don’t give up, your pet is counting on you!