Missing or escaped pets is a very scary thing. However, many pets are reunited with their owners all the time due to diligent actions on the owners part. That's you! Below are some steps to take the moment you notice your pet is missing.
Call the local police department and report your pet missing. People who find missing pets often call the authorities first thing to see if the pet was reported as missing.
Please GO to your local pound and LOOK at the animals. How you describe your animal and how the pound describes your animal may be two very different things! Pounds and shelters are often not well organized and run on volunteers. Don't trust the word of the pound/shelter staff…go look for yourself and take a photo of your pet with you to leave with them, with your contact information on the back.
Check with neighbors in the immediate area. They may have seen which direction your pet went. Cats especially are often found trapped in garages or sheds nearby, accidentally. Ask neighbors to keep an eye out for your pet.
Leave blankets or clothing with your scent on it in the area where your pet is sighted or escaped. They may use their sense of smell to return to that spot as it is a familiar scent.
Put up fliers, call the radio stations, use facebook and local groups. Post on other local classified websites. Take a flyer with information to the vets and inform them in case a good samaritan brings in an injured pet that is yours. Other pet professionals like groomers, pet stores, kennels, day cares, etc are also good places to call and give a description of your pet.
Fliers can be posted at the grocery stores, pet store, grooming shops and vet offices. Be sure to take them down when your pet is found.
When posting an ad or flyer or post, be sure to include CLEAR photos without humans in the picture if possible, and lots of information. Describe temperament and colors and markings. An accurate description of unusual markings will help people be able to identify a pet as yours and cut down on instances of false sightings. Include information about the area lost in. Include your contact information and name. The more information you include, the more likely it is that people will be able to help you find your pet.
Ask for a reward! Most pet loving people won't accept an award for helping you bring a beloved pet home, but it will help those non-pet-loving people be interested in looking in hopes of collecting the reward.
When your pet is safely home...go to your local pet store, vet or farm supply store and get a tag printed with your contact information. Every dog should at least should have a tag on their collar. No excuses! Vet tags and city license tags do not have immediate contact information on them, which can delay or prevent someone from contacting you. If your pet gets tags caught on things, consider having an embroidered collar or purchasing a flat tag that slides onto the collar.
By Seri Dukart - Groomer