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Tips for Finding a Lost Pet

Updated on August 12, 2011

Lost Pet

When you've realized that your pet has snuck out the house or out of the yard, your heart may sink. You don't want your pet wandering in the rain, cold, heat, or in traffic. You want your pet sleeping at home, not wandering the streets, and when you've found your pet missing, this can be hard to handle.

What you want to do is be strong, be willing to work hard, and never lose hope.

When you're pet has disappeared, there are a few things that you want to do right away.

First, you want to act right away. The quicker you get moving, the higher the potential at finding your missing pet. You want to start searching your neighborhood, nearby neighborhoods, and anywhere you can think of. Post flyers, call vets and animal shelters, knock on doors, etc. You want as many people aware of your missing pet as possible, and you want them aware today, not tomorrow.

When making a missing pet poster, you want to include the details.

  • Pet's picture
  • Age of pet
  • Gender
  • Breed and colors
  • Your contact information

You want to take these flyers and post them everywhere. Take them to nearby businesses, veterinary offices, animal shelters, and even at traffic intersections.

Include a reward on the poster.

The best way to prevent scams and to protect your hopes and heart is to omit including an obvious physical trait on the flyer. This way, when the caller omits the obvious trait, you know it's not your pet. Never wire or send money without seeing your pet first; this may sound obvious, but sometimes, you just never know what you'll do if you think it means getting your pet back.

When locating your pet, you always have a leg up when you have taken a few precautions.

  • Pet tags. The old-age identity marker of your pet includes the pet's name, your name, and a phone number to reach you in case someone finds your missing pet. Pets that wear their tags are much more likely to go back home, than the pet who doesn't have his/her tags.
  • Microchip. A microchip is a tiny device that is the size of a grain of rice that is implanted in the pet's nape. The chip has a designated ID number that associates that chip with your information, which includes phone numbers, address, vet information, and even a secondary person. This small chip can save your pet's life if he/she ever turns up as a stray at the local animal shelter or vet. Because all vets and shelters have at least one microchip scanner, your pet will less likely be lost in the mix of stray pets. When your pet has the device implanted into the neck, you receive a tag with the chip's ID number and a 1-800 number to call; this tag needs to be on your pet's collar with the regular pet tags. The 1-800 number allows the person to get the information based on the ID number on the tag, so that he/she can return your pet.

It's important that your pet has both ID tags and a microchip in order to find his/her way back home. Neither of these options are better or worse than the other, but work the best when paired together.


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    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Losing my dog is my biggest fear and I'm just sick to my stomach because when I had her spayed a few months ago I was going to have her chipped at the same time, but somehow I forgot to tell the vet to do it, and for some reason they didn't suggest it.

    • PoliticsNOW profile image


      7 years ago from New York

      One of my cats disappeared for 17 days and he just came back. Just wanted to give some hope if someone else loses a cat. Great Hub


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