ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Cope With a Missing Pet

Updated on September 17, 2014

What should you do if your Pet goes Missing.

Losing a pet can be nerve wracking and sad.The most important thing is to act quickly. The sooner you look for them, the more likely you will be able to pick up their trail. Unfortunately, many people don't realize the pet is gone right away. Often, we think they are in another room. Cats can be more tricky than dogs because they may tuck themselves away somewhere right in your house and no amount of calling will bring them out. If you have a pet that normally goes out on his own, it may be even more difficult to realize they are gone. The first thing you want to do is try to discern the spot they left from and look for a path they may have been likely to take. There are several factors to consider. Is your pet familiar with the neighborhood and the people and pets that live here? Are there stray cats and dogs in the area? Is there a lot of traffic, noise or people that may intimidate them? Is there something enticing like food scraps, friendly people or other animals they may choose to follow?

Our pets are our babies

Sweet baby Ella!
Sweet baby Ella! | Source

Steps you can take to prevent your pet from taking off

  • If your pet is outside, make regular checks to see that fences and gates are secure.
  • Walk around your yard to look for places they may be digging. Many dogs dig out under a fence!
  • Check that collars and leashes are in good repair and securely closed.
  • If your pets are indoor animals, make sure windows and doors are secure.
  • Have your pets micro-chipped. If you can't afford it, there are services for discounts.

4 Cats in a Window

This is the window they escaped out of!
This is the window they escaped out of! | Source

As my pets were.

He found one of our girls right outside the window but our Ella was still out there. Our smallest and youngest little girl who is the biological sister and best friend to our missing Finn. Now, true panic set in. New flyers, new contacts, days and nights walking and driving. And tears, so many tears, mixed with fear, worry and anger. And, sometimes, a bit of hurt. How could they do this to me?! One week after Ella went missing, we heard a mournful meow, Once, twice....We realized it wasn't in the house! I ran to the balcony door and there was Ella. She was dirty, thin and pretty skittish but she was home! That first night, she ran around the house crying. We think she was looking for Finn. She has since settled down and filled out. She doesn't leave my side much and that's okay with me. Unfortunately, Finnick has not come back home. Some days when I open the door in the morning, I expect him to be sitting in front of it, waiting to come in. I am not giving up. I continue to hang fyers, post ads and talk to anyone I run into in the neighborhood. Our home is not the same without him.

Don't let your pet be the next statistic.

According to the National Pet Register, over 10 million pets go missing each year. Millions do not make it back home. One in three pets gets lost at least once in its lifetime. Don't let your pet be the next statistic. There are, sadly so many bad things that can happen to our pets when they are out alone. They are also at risk of being taken. One of the ways to help your pet is to be prepared in advance and to act QUICKLY!

This is our story:

On February 12th, 2014, we realized that one of our cats was gone. No one remembered him slipping out but we knew he had probably been gone for about half an hour. We ran outside immediately, calling for him. We didn't find Finnick after a walk around the immediate area. So began the flyers and pounding the pavement. Two days later, on Valentine's Day, we came downstairs at six am and saw that two more cats were missing. That was when we became aware of the cool breeze. My son ran to the window and found that the screen had been pushed out.

Have you ever had a pet that went missing?

See results

Organizations that can help you find your pet

The organizations that I used are local. The most important thing to do first is to check local shelters and any county organizations. I went online and found a list of local shelters. I was able to both e-mail some and look at pictures at others. Someone directed me to Straydar on FaceBook. This is an amazing group of volunteers who go out of their way to rescue strays and help match lost and found pets. They were also instrumental in supplying tips (some of which you are reading here) and providing even more resourceful groups. Craigslist is another great place to both post and peruse for lost/found pets.

Things you can do to Find your Pet

Enlist friends
Make flyers
At Home
contact shelters
pass out flyers
post flyers everywhere
leave food or water outside
contact missing pet networks
talk to everyone in the area
hang a flyer near a school
put something that smells like you outside
check pounds, shelters and classifieds
walk the neighborhood, especially at dawn or dusk
Check that the flyers are still up or hang more
leave a garage or doggy door
place classified ads
go door to door, ask permission to look in people's yards
offer a reward
walk the neighborhood, again and again

Don't give up!

How to Avoid Losing Your Pets

Although, so many protective measures would seem obvious, we often become complacent about the safety of our pets. I have heard so many stories about how pets have gone missing because of a fence in disrepair, or someone forgetting to latch the gate or even leaving the door open. If you have a pet who consistently tries to "escape", you will probably have to be on high alert all the time. But what about the pet that seems to be content staying home? What factors contribute to their getting out? Is it mating season? Do you have a new pet, family member or houseguest? Is your pet in an unfamiliar situation like a new home or vaction? Being aware of what can xause your pet to get out can help you to keep him safe.

The Missing Cats

Our lost boy!
Our lost boy! | Source
Our two babies just a day before Finn went missing.
Our two babies just a day before Finn went missing. | Source
Ella on her first day back, a little bedraggled, not taking her eyes off of us!
Ella on her first day back, a little bedraggled, not taking her eyes off of us! | Source

What to include on a Missing Pet Flyer.

Make sure there is a clear picture. Be sure to include a phone number. Let people know how much your pet is missed. If you are planning to give a reward, include it. That may make some people more vigilant and may also sway someone who may have found (and been planning on keeping) your pet. Have several different flyers with different pictures of your pet. If size and colors are not obvious, write them. A few more tips about flyers:

  • Keep track of where you put them.
  • Go back to each spot and rehang them
  • Leave extras if anyone wants to take it
  • hang them in local vetinarian's offices
  • PetSmarts have a bulletin board for ads.

Enlist Help.

Don't be afraid to call friends and family, both to help in the search and to help spread the word. The more people that know, the more likely to have someone spot them. This evening, I took my usual walk around looking for Finn, missing one month now. I stopped to ask people walking their dogs. A conversation ensued and they mentioned a cat walking into their open balcony door last week. It gave us hope that he is still around and it got two more people on the lookout. If you are searching for lost pet, I wish you the best of luck in finding him. If you have a pet, please take these measures to ensure his safety. You don't want your pets to be part of the statistics.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)