Be Sure They’re LostIf we didn’t actually see them run away, carefully checking every nook and cranny can reveal that they were really just hiding. Cats and dogs have a way of finding unusual places to hide when they’re afraid or not feeling well. Closets, behind furniture, even behind the toilet or in a cupboard can end up feeling safe for some furbabies. And check the immediate outdoor vicinity. If we check behind and under bushes, in window wells, and under the car, we might see that they made it outside, but stayed close. Then look up and down the street to make sure they aren’t just trying admiring the neighbors rose garden.
Call Local SheltersIf we determine there is definitely a lost pet situation, it’s time to call the shelter. By doing this next, we can help make sure all new dogs and cats that are brought in will be compared to the description we’ve been provided. This is the moment we become really thankful we said yes to the microchip. Collars can be taken off, but microchips are there to stay.
Walk & DriveMany people feel like this needs to be a solitary event, but that fact is that if a human child went missing, we would rally the entire neighborhood, right? The same goes for our pet family. Drive around to see whether catching up to a fleeing pet is all that’s needed. Then walk door-to-door. Check around local houses and then knock and ask whether they’ve seen Fido. This not only helps people understand why we’re walking around in their yard but alerts them to the need to watch for any confused looking furry friends. Sometimes rallying a few friends and neighbors to help with search can also help our emotional and mental stress levels.
Get the pre-printed flyer from the kit and start posting those around the neighborhood.
Put Up Pictures & Spread The WordStill nothing? That’s OK. As part of the Disaster Preparedness Guide for Guardians, we walk everyone through the essentials we all need to have on-hand to ensure we are reunited in case we are separated in times of natural disasters. Get the pre-printed flyer from the kit and start posting those around the neighborhood. Leave it with shelters and with local vets. Sometimes someone will find a cat or dog and decide to keep them, rather than drop them at a shelter, and post “Found Pet” flyers. If our pup or kitty are hurt at all, they’ll be taken to the vet, who will check for a microchip.
Never Underestimate the Power of the Internet
This is also the time to lean on our networks in the digital world. Post pictures, descriptions, date last seen, and any other info on social media. There are Facebook groups that are neighborhood specific. Find those and post about the situation, so the word gets out beyond the few blocks we may have reached out to in person. Large pet supply stores won’t have the means, but a small pet supply store will often have a Facebook page. So will local dog walkers and dog sitters. Ask them to post the info to their networks. After all, we already know their network will have a strong following of animal lovers who will keep an eye out for us. It’s never pleasant to have to deal with a lost pet, but there are many ways to be prepared. Follow the advice in these articles and the odds of being reunited with our precious pooches and kittens will be outstanding. Pass this guide on to anyone who may not realize it's National Lost Pet Prevention Month.