How to Cope With a Missing Pet
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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.
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.