How do I…. Find my Lost Pet?

by | General Pet Care |

I have to say one of the most terrifying moments in my time with Jersey has been the day she got out while I was vacuuming. The door hadn’t been shut properly and had drifted open. By the time I realized there was an unusual breeze drifting throughout the house and found the source, she was gone.

I panicked!

I ran out the front door and looked up and down the street. Fortunately she hadn’t gotten far, she was distracted by one of my neighbours walking their dog across the street. It took a bit of convincing (she had a taste of freedom and was loving it) but eventually I got a hold of her and took her home.

Whether it be a dog, a cat or other small mammal (hopefully it’s not your pet snake Fluffy) there is always the possibility of your pet escaping its home or habitat. While some pets will be confined to the house such as a gerbil or mouse, many dogs and cats think bigger. The world outside of your house can seem thrilling and new, especially to pets who are typically confined to the house or backyard.

So you have realized your pet is lost. What now?

-Try to determine the last known whereabouts of your pet. Talk to family members about when your pet was last seen, and where they were. Sometimes pets can accidently get shut into rooms or stuck in the house. Do a thorough search in case your pet is hiding or sleeping somewhere. Shaking a favourite toy or treat bag can help draw them out.

-Take a picture of your pet with you and walk around your neighbourhood. Ask people in your area if they have seen your pet, and to check under porches or in sheds or garages your pet may accidently be stuck in.

-Call local shelters and rescue agencies, as your pet may have already been retrieved. Have a description ready with any tag information or distinguishing markings your pet may have that would make them easily identifiable. If you have a very common breed or unusual mix, it is best to visit the shelters on a daily basis to ascertain whether your dog is one of those in the shelter.

-Use flyers, pictures and websites to get your pet’s picture up in as many places as possible. Any locations where people congregate in your area are very helpful, such as grocery stores, laundromats and pet-related businesses (veterinarians, groomer, pet supply store, etc.).

When it comes to lost pets, prevention is always the key. All pets should be licensed with tags, and microchipping can always be helpful if your pet turns up at a shelter or rescue. Always be persistent, as it is pet owners who stay vigilant and active in the search for their pet that typically get their pet back home safe and sound.