Most of us consider our pet dogs and cats as part of the family, so it’s traumatic when they go missing. There are numerous reasons your pet may go wandering. Fortunately, there are a steps you can follow to find lost pets and get them safely home.
The first step is to walk or drive around your neighbourhood. You may imagine your pet has traveled miles, however, missing pets often hide somewhere close to home. If they do run away, they tend to return to a familiar area. Go to places where you would usually go with your pet, and see if you can find them there. Take a photo of your pet and show it to other pet-owners you might see.
Talk to your neighbors
Go door-to-door and chat to your neighbors. Tell them the situation and ask them to keep an eye out for your missing pet. You can only be in one place at a time. But if you ask neighbors for help, you’ll increase the chances of finding your lost pet.
Contact local animal shelters and vets
If you have no luck in your neighbourhood, visit local animal shelters and vets. Find out if any lost pets have been brought in and ask them to keep an eye out for your missing dog or cat. Everybody wants to see missing pets reunited with their family, so local animal shelters and vets will provide help and support. If necessary, visit the shelters and vets daily until you find your pet. Ask them to inform you if they learn of any car accidents that involved a pet. Sadly, this could be a possibility too.
Advertise lost pets
Make a flyer with your missing dog or cat’s photo, a physical description and your contact details. Ask the vet to put some up and put others around your neighbourhood and in local shops, libraries, shopping centers and community noticeboards. Put them at eye level so passers-by will notice them.
Use social media
Use social media to spread the word. Post information about your missing pet on Facebook and link it to a community page or a page dedicated to lost pets in your area. You may be pleasantly surprised by the power of social media.
Be careful of scammers
Throughout your search, never give up hope. There is a strong likelihood that your missing dog or cat will be found or will return home of their own accord. Have faith in your neighbors and your local community to help you in your search. However, be wary of anyone who comes forward with information, especially if you have advertised a reward. Ask for an identifying characteristic to make sure it is definitely your missing pet and always meet the person in public.
Losing a pet is a stressful experience but if you do what you can, chances are soon you will be reunited.