The panic that ensues when a pet is missing is as alarming as a it might be if a child were. When Fluffy or Shadow aren’t in their usual spots – it can be quite overwhelming for a pet owner. After all, 90% of those who own pets say that their pets are part of the family. So what do you do when a family member goes missing? Stay calm and follow the steps below to start your search for your pet.
Alert the masses
The moment you’ve confirmed that your pet is missing is the moment you should begin your search to find them. For every moment that passes, your cat or dog faces the risk of danger. It is of the utmost importance that you stay calm and alert your community of the disappearance. Create at least 20 posters with the following essentials:
-The words “LOST DOG” or “LOST CAT” in very large lettering
-A photo of your pet
-A description of your pets general appearance. For example: White with a large brown spot on her head, long body, sort legs, fluffy ears, a very short tail and brass pet tags
-A phone number to reach you
Place the flyers far and wide. Keep in mind that your pet may have wiggled lose from his or her pet id tags. Be ready to identify them without their pet name tags in the event that someone calls with a pet that matches the description but isn’t wearing personalized pet tags.
If someone comes across your pet, they may not take it home with them and wait to get in touch with you. Many individuals who spot lost pets spot them out in public and will act immediately upon sight. However, if you aren’t there to receive their good news, they may go about their day. Also keep in mind that your pets are fast! Be ready to go retrieve your pet if it is found. For example, average dog can travel around 19 miles per hour, with some breeds like greyhounds reaching speeds of 45 miles per hour.
Follow up: if you found Fluffy
Maybe you got lucky and you received the call that all pet owners what to get, “Hi, I am at Maple and Pine and I just found a dog that matches your “missing dog” description. He is spotted, young, big white paws and brown body and he is wearing brass pet tags.” Write “FOUND” in large letters and a small note about how happy your are to have found your friend. This may seem silly, but if others see this message, they will understand the role they can play when they see a “lost pet” sign.
Another important part of follow-up is thanking those who helped you find your four-legged friend. In a world where Americans spend more than 5 million dollars every year on Christmas gifts – like brass pet tags and chew toys- for their pets, you might consider trying to afford to give a few dollars to the hero who found your dog or cat.