If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having a pet go missing, you know how traumatizing and stressful it is for everyone involved. It only takes a minute for a pet to get loose and go missing, and it can happen to even the most careful and loving pet owner.
So what’s a pet owner to do? First, ensure your pet is microchipped and your contact information on file is up-to-date. Microchipping is a quick, painless procedure and lasts for the lifetime of your pet. It’s also the best chance you have of your pet returning to you after going missing. It worked for this family, who was reunited with their lost cat after three months! But the key is to make sure you keep your contact information up to date!
You should also have an effective search strategy in place – just in case. Don’t wait until you’re in a moment of panic to create a game plan to find your pet.
Find your missing pet quickly with these tips
While every pet and situation is unique, here are a few tips to help you find your pet as quickly as possible:
Immediately search your property and your neighbours’ properties (with permission) in a five-house-radius. Expand outwards as needed. Walk the neighbourhood, talk to everybody, and leave your phone number and pet’s description or photo.
- Make noise while you walk around by calling, squeaking a toy, shaking a kibble bag etc. Bring a tasty treat, harness, leash and/or carrier to secure your pet.
- Place strong-scented articles outside your home, such as her bedding, to lure your pet home if they are nearby.
- Change your voicemail message to include a description of your missing pet. Also include how to reach someone during the day and night. Check it regularly.
- Visit local Ontario SPCA animal centres, humane societies and animal control facility and leave your phone number and a picture of your pet. Call local veterinarian offices during the day, and after 5 p.m. call animal emergency clinics. Check back regularly.
- Place missing pet signs at major intersections, veterinary offices, stores etc. within a two-kilometer radius (or minimum five-block radius), expanding outwards within a few days if your pet has not been found. Remember to remove the posters once your pet is found.
- Share information about your lost pet on social media and/or place an ad in your local newspaper. Include a photo and description of your pet, the date and location where it was last seen and your contact information. Be cautious about sharing personal information, such as your street address.
- Find lost and found websites and groups in your area and check them frequently.
For more recovery tips, visit http://ontariospca.ca/lost-pet-recovery-101.html