Most of us have been there. You have a pet/animal that your really close to, and one day they go missing. Your not quite sure what happened. Perhaps they got out of the fence, or they got through the front door when you were not looking..regardless, you find yourself with a lost pet. A missing a member of your family. What do you do now? A lost pet is never a good thing. I have been in this situation quite a few times…and have learnt a few tricks over that period of that, that I want to pass onto you.
Tip One: Look vigorously in all the right areas
The first and most important thing is to check your house, and yard. A lot of times animals return to places they are familiar with, this is especially true for cats. I had a cat that I had for 6 years…he got out somehow, and we never found out how. We spent 6 hours looking for him. Up and down every street, through every yard, in every forest. We searched vigorously within cat walking distance of our house. Finally after giving up, we found
him in the back yard in the woods just resting on a fallen tree trunk. That entire time, he had been right under our noses…lesson learned, always try to check in the most obvious places first (you never know).
Tip Two: Tap into all your resources
Tap into every resource you have. Make signs, hang them all over the place. Contact every neighbor on your street and try to get as many people involved as you can. Check your local pounds, human societies, and rescues for them. Check around newspaper ads for found animals, and sign up for all the major pet finder websites. Anything that helps get out the word that you are missing an animal, and/or details about the animal (as many as possible, and images when possible.
Tip Three: Reward
The world can be a greedy place. Certain people who might not normally turn in your lost pet, or might not even bother to stop and try to get your animal if they see it, might be more persuaded with money. If you are in a position to do so, then offer a reward. Do not specify how much in the reward, but just put down that you are offering a reward…that’ll get people more motivated than just trying to help naturally, and you want the situation to get all of the attention that it can and deserve. The reward may not seem like much, but it will go a long ways.
The best time to do something about a lost, is before they go missing. Prevention is always the best medicine. Always do the most obvious first. Get the animal microchipped, get it registered with any main registration services that are available, keep up to date pictures/videos available on a regular basis (update photo’s/videos monthly with fresh shots from all angles. It’s better to have images in case they go missing, than not…Also you can do other stuff like start putting aside money for a reward….strange as it may sound, it’s almost like an emergency fund. If you take out around 100-150 dollars (or however much you want, and set it aside and never touch it…forget it exists…you’ll be glad you have it if one of your pets goes missing. This will allow you to have money available for a reward, and not have to go into financial difficulties at the time of the missing animal. Get collars, nameplates and other things together and on your animals ahead of time. Around 50% of animals that go missing would normally be returned to the rightful owner if they just had the animals name and phone number on a collar that never comes off…that goes for Cat’s as well.
Spend the prevention time also preparing other areas of the house…double checking any fencing, getting a privacy fence, securing windows/doors in your home so animals can’t get out, implementing new house policies on coming/going from the house to triple check for all animals are safe and inside before any trips. For cat’s, the best prevention is to avoid having outside cats. I have never believed in them…I feel much safer with them safe and in the house…if you have cats, consider making them permanently inside cats. Also try not to declaw your cats if you have any…they rely on this for defense, if they ever got out and got attacked by something…without claws there is a great chance they would die. If you keep there claws on, then that might just save their lives’ that one time they get out of the house when you least expect it.
Overall, a lost pet is never a fun situation to deal with. I’ve never had a good experience when one of mine went missing. Luckily there are things you can do, some of them described in this blog post, that will help you prevent a lost pet situation from happening, or help to find them when it does.
There are a lot of other websites throughout the internet that can provide advice, help, and resources for those facing a lost pet situation. This site for example provides paid services to help pet owners find their lost pet. Other companies like this exist, as well as online free resources to aid in your search.