How to Help a Lost Pet
How to Help Your Pet Get Home if She Gets Lost)
Found: Secure the animal &
check the collar for ID tags. The easiest scenario is if the dog has
ID tags with the owner’s phone number and you can just call to notify the owner where to come pick up their pet. If there are no ID tags, but there is a rabies tag, try calling the vet who issued
the rabies shot to see if they can identify and contact the owners for you. If
there is a city licensing tag, call the city. If you do not find tags, call the
nearest vet or shelter to see if they can scan for a microchip for you.
your pet. Your pets—even indoor
pets — should always wear a collar and
an ID tag with your name, address, and telephone number. Many vets offer a process of microchip identification as well. Licensing your pet with your city is another tag and can be another way to help identify
them if lost.
Found: Contact the police, local animal shelters, and animal control agencies. Fairy Dogparents has seen a stray come to
a fast & happy reunion with owner with just one quick call to the non-emergency police number.
Lost: Contact the police (non-emergency) to see if anyone has reported finding your dog.
Let them know your pet is missing and leave your telephone number in case someone calls them. Then file a lost pet report with animal control and every shelter
within a 60-mile radius of your home. Visit the local shelters daily, if possible. To get a list of local shelters go to www.pets911.com or check your phone book. Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet. Notify
the police if you believe your pet was stolen.
Found: Check the neighborhood, vet offices and surrounding areas
for ‘lost pet’ flyers. Fairy Dogparents once found a stray cat hanging
out only 6 feet from his ‘missing’ sign with photo!
the neighborhood. Walk or drive through your neighborhood
several times each day. Ask neighbors, letter carriers, pet sitters and delivery people if they have seen your pet. Hand out
a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found. Be sure to give the info to people you encounter out walking their dogs, as they are more likely to spot
and notice your dog or cat.
Lost: Advertise. Post notices & flyers
at grocery stores, parks and playgrounds, community centers, veterinary offices, dog parks, traffic intersections, online
at www.pets911.com, online at www.petfinder.org , and anywhere you can. Flyer heavily in the more trafficked areas of your neighborhood
(and surrounding neighborhoods), so that people walking the dog, waiting in traffic, and window shopping will notice. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet's
sex, age, weight, breed, color, any special markings, and any pertinent medical information. When describing your pet, leave
out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.
Found: When calling the owner
in an advertisement be as specific about the pet as you can.
Is the cat declawed or not? Does the pet have identifying markings?
If a reward is offered, put the pet's well being first and worry about rewards later.
Lost: Be wary of pet-recovery scams. When talking to a stranger who claims to have found your pet, ask him to describe
the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of
the advertisements, he may not really have your pet. Be particularly wary of people who insist that you give or wire them
money for the return of your pet.
Found: Consider keeping the pet with you until you find the owners
rather than turning the pet over to animal control. Most pounds have time limits for animals to be claimed and then the animals are either euthanized or retrieved
by shelters and rescue organizations for adoption. If the pet fits into your
household on a temporary basis, you increase their chances of finding home by keeping them.
Lost: Don't give up your search! Animals
who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.
Found: If you cannot secure the
animal, or are fearful of him, call animal control to report the loose animal and his whereabouts. Give the best description & location information you can and check back to see what the follow through
was if possible. Tell the dog in a firm tone and deep voice to “Go Home.”
Owners: Teach your pet what “Go Home” means. Practice
it when out on walks and coming back home. It occurs to Fairy Dogparents that
many people, particularly those who are afraid to approach a strange dog, would tell the dog to “go home”, but
probably few owners actually practice this command with their pet.