Losing your pet can be distressful. You may feel flustered and panic. But it is crucial that you keep a straight head, act immediately, and get help.
Fortunately, statistics are not so grim. Slightly more than eight in ten lost pets in America are reunited with their owners.
We are here to help close that gap. Here are seven things you can do to find a lost pet.
1. Start the search immediately
When your furry friend goes missing, it is not like losing your car keys or a favorite pen. You will get that gut feeling immediately when you step into the house and notice something is amiss.
Do not wait. Follow your gut and start the search immediately.
Call out their name. Walk around the neighborhood and ask the neighbors. If you live where there are lots of families, check with the kids. They would usually notice a lost pet faster than adults.
Find out about the specific breed behavior. Most animals try to hang around familiar places. Chances are high you could find your lost pet within the neighborhood. Or hear you call out and respond.
Do you have a good photo of your furry friend? Get someone to help you make posters as soon as you notice that they are not anywhere near the yard. Consider including a fair reward for anyone who finds the pet.
Circulate the posters around the neighborhood. Knock on doors, or even flag down cars and ask if they have spotted your pet. Try as much as possible to have the first contact with anyone who may have come across the pet.
Lost animals are often afraid and would look for comfort in a seemingly hidden place. So, double-check your home and the yard. Are there places you have not checked?
Do the same for areas within the neighborhood.
Dogs will often look for abandoned spaces. You could also find clues of whether your dog was at a hiding spot. Cats, on the other hand, seldom stray more than 400 yards away from their home. However, they may be harder to find since they are pretty good at hiding. They rarely leave tracks.
If within 48 hours the search has not given any fruit, check and report the missing pet at local shelters. Check also at animal rescue agencies. Perhaps the poor little fellow was rescued and is waiting for you.
But do it fast, and make sure you have a clear picture or a way to identify the pet. Some animal rescue agencies euthanize unclaimed pets within a short time.
Also, check at the local vet clinics. Animal rescue agencies will take rescued pets to vets for checkups before lodging them within their facilities. Each day, vets come across and process many rescued animals. Perhaps your furry friend was one of them. So, check at the vet too.
5. Go to the internet and the media
Engage the services of online pet recovery agencies. They have elaborate databases and systems that could help you find your pet. Plus, they have teams on standby to do what you may have left out.
Don’t stop searching after engaging an online pet recovery agency. Post pictures of your missing pet on social media. Ask your friends to share the images and the message. Who knows, it could go viral.
You could also try out a local radio station. Electronic media is also a powerful tool that can help you spread the word about the missing pet. Announce the missing pet at a local radio station or popular podcast.
If you suspect your pet was stolen, do not hesitate to inform the local police department. Perhaps it went missing after a burglary, or the circumstances are weird.
Let the police know about it and give them a clear description of the pet. Also, tell the cops why you suspect the pet to be stolen. Ask if they can help by engaging a sniffer dog to help you trace the missing pet. Don’t let anything stop you from finding your pet.
7. Do not give up the search to find your lost pet
Most lost pets are recovered and reunited with their owners within 48 hours. There are many amazing stories of pet owners reunited with their pets within a few hours.
If you have yet to find your pet, don’t give up the search. Your furry friend is counting on you to step up the game and keep looking.