Pet Care

What Should I do if I Lose my Cat or Dog?

What Should I do if I Lose my Pet, Cat or Dog?

If I lose my cat or dog – what do I do? The key to bringing your pet, cat or dog back securely and soundly is getting the word out as soon as possible. Don’t expect your pet to appear on his own after a few hours. Don’t hang around waiting for it to return home. Tell everyone about your lost dog or cat as soon as you realize your pet is gone. Always have nice, clear pictures on hand in case of an emergency, and make sure your dogs and cats are wearing collars with identifying tags. Although microchipping is a fantastic method of identification, make sure your pet wears a visible collar and tags at all times which will make identifying your valuable four legged friend so much easier.

Search Around Your House

Walk or drive around your local area numerous times a day. Check with your neighbours, mail carriers, and delivery persons to see if they’ve seen your pet.

Your search strategy if you lose your cat or dog, can be heavily influenced by your pet’s personality and species. A confident, outgoing pet, cat or dog is more likely to have established new friends, but a shy or easily startled pet is more likely to be hiding or avoiding people. Search tactics and online training are available from Mission Reunite and the Missing Animal Response Network https://www.missinganimalresponse.com to educate you on what to do if your cat or dog goes missing. Read tips on how to locate a missing cat or a missing dog on their website.

When most indoor cats go outside, they feel scared and seek refuge close to home, usually up to three homes away. On the other hand, “indoor-outdoor” cats may wander many blocks. Look beneath decks, shrubs, sheds, and any other dark concealed spots surrounding your home. Request permission to search the properties of your neighbours on both sides of your residence. Don’t forget to check inside garages and sheds for your missing cat.

If I lose My Cat or Dog? Get Help From Animal Control Agencies

Fill out a lost pet report with every shelter within a 15-mile radius of your house and, if feasible, visit them regularly.

Search online for your local shelter or use The Shelter Pet Project’s shelter search to enter your zip/post code. Some shelters even include images of discovered animals on their websites, so you can see whether yours is among them. Many shelters can loan you a humane trap to set, which may be very useful if your pet is shy or afraid. Contact local trap-neuter-return (TNR) groups if your cat has gone missing. Your cat may have joined a colony or been noticed by someone who is feeding cats in the neighbourhood.

What Should I do if I Lose my Cat or Dog?
What Should I do if I Lose my Cat or Dog?

If your neighbourhood lacks a shelter, contact your local police department or animal control agency. Give these organizations a detailed description of your pet as well as a recent image of it. If you feel your pet has been taken, call the police. If your pet has a microchip, notify the managers so that your pet can be marked as missing.

Spread the Word

You can post notices at various places, including grocery stores, barbershops, and veterinarian offices. You should always include your pet’s gender, age, weight, and other important details. You should highlight one distinguishing feature while describing your pet. Likewise, it is important to remember this trait when persons who claim to have discovered your pet describe your pet to you. Draw a simple colored sketch to grab people’s attention.

In addition, you can hang big, brightly coloured fliers throughout your area. Try to use a clear photo of your pet and add a description of your pet with one identifying characteristic. You should include contact information such as a phone number. Make your flyer as basic and legible as possible. Posters that promise a small reward for a safe return tend to attract more attention. Stick them clearly on display where people may see them, such as at bus stations and on telephone poles or lamp posts along neighbourhood streets.

Make the most of social media to find your dog or cat! There are several lost and found animal groups on popular sites like Facebook, so look for one or more in your region and post a missing pet notice there. Also, use your personal social media accounts (i.e., Facebook and Instagram) or other platforms such as classified advert boards to spread the word. Include relevant hashtags to aid in the discovery of your post by individuals in your region.

Recovery Scams

Do not give any personal information to a stranger who claims to have found your pet; ask them to describe the animal in detail—or insist on getting a photo of the found pet. They may not have your pet if they don’t include the distinguishing feature you left out of the adverts or refuse to submit a photo. People that insist on receiving or wiring money in advance before returning your pet should be avoided at all costs.

What Should I do if I Lose my Cat or Dog? Do not Give up

Animals separated from their owners for months have been reunited many times. It is important to not give up on the search. Instead, expand your search region and share your findings on social media and online discussion boards.

Exxpand Your Search For Your Pet.
Expand Your Search By Posting Classified Notices

List of Things you can do to Find Your pet

  • You should act quickly! Don’t waste days waiting for your pet to return. The sooner you start looking for him, the higher your chances of finding him are.
  • Let others know your pet is missing by spreading the word while searching your neighbourhood or the region where she was last seen.
  • Call your pet’s name and look for her in any locations where she may have gotten stuck, such as basements, garages, or beneath cars. Because a lost pet would typically hide during the day, go out at night with a flashlight and call for her.
  • A can of food might sometimes entice a hungry and terrified pet to come to you. Place a bowl near your front door.
  • If you have not found your pet yet, you should keep on checking your local shelters. Not only should you call, but you should also go to the shelters to look for your pet. Many animals are difficult to accurately describe over the phone, and you are the only one who truly knows how your pet appears.
  • Make a list of all animal control agencies in your town and its environs. Animal control personnel collect stray animals on behalf of the police department. At least every two days, call them or check their shelters.
  • Make “missing pet” signs using your pet’s photo. Post them around your area, as well as at post offices, libraries, pet supply stores, veterinary offices, and supermarkets. If your veterinarian or groomer receives a call, inform them that your pet is missing.
  • Place classified advertisements in local newspapers, websites and offer a small reward to anyone who finds your untagged pet and had decided to keep it.
  • Keep an eye on the discovered advertising. Any that seem similar to your pet’s description should be responded to. White dogs can become dull grey after a week on the streets, and the ad’s description may not be accurate.
  • Make a call to your local radio stations. Some radio stations will broadcast information about lost pets for free. You should give as much data as possible about where your pet went missing, his description, and how to reach you.
  • Visit www.petfinder.com and www.pets911.com. These are two nationwide locating services that you can use to find your lost cat and dog.
  • Lastly, keep in mind that dogs sporting ID tags have a better chance of returning home.
What Should I do if I Lose my Cat or Dog? Spread The Word
What Should I do if I Lose my Cat or Dog? Spread The Word

Be open to alternative ideas as well. Consider using a trustworthy pet monitoring service, for example. Who knows what will lead to your friend’s return? So, do not give up on finding your lost cat or dog.

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Ed Gordon

About Author

Growing up around pets, including turtles, cats, dogs and eaven red eared terrapins, Ed Gordon Price, is passionate about their welfare and imparting useful, discovered facts and opinions about our furry, feathered, bald and scaled friends; plus the products taht help their lives. He has written a published novel about animals called The Zambezi Allies and invites you on this quest to discover pets and pet products.

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