Worst Day Ever: How to Find a Missing Pet
There are few moments worse than realizing your pet isn’t where they’re supposed to be. Calling their name over and over, driving up and down the streets of your neighborhood, and knocking on doors doesn’t always yield the bright, happy face you’re longing to see – and it’s agonizing.
If you’ve lived through this heart-wrenching experience, you know that the likelihood of seeing your pet again are frighteningly low. But there are ways to increase the chances of reunion, and we are your go-to source for preventing a missing pet scare.
Many animals are highly adept at darting through open doors, windows, fence posts, and gates. Others may just find themselves presented with a rare opportunity to slide out unnoticed. Even those who may not necessarily want to escape, end up wandering away from home and getting lost.
Also, it’s not uncommon for pets to be stolen, be picked up by animal control, or, worse, get hit by a car.
A missing pet is very hard to deal with. They end up lost or missing for various reasons, but it can be prevented by:
- Spaying or neutering – Pets who are “fixed” do not tend to wander in search of a mate. Sure, pets who have undergone this routine surgery can still try to run out of a gate or door, but the risk is much lower.
- Microchipping – Quite possibly, the most effective defense against a potentially missing pet is a small chip, inserted between the shoulder blades (you can even schedule it at the same time as your pet’s spay or neuter). About the size of a grain of rice, microchips aid in the identification of a lost or missing pet when they turn up at a shelter, rescue, or vet. Remembering to update your contact information when it changes is of the utmost importance.
- Identification – Clear ID tags attached to a reflective collar also increase the odds of reuniting with your pet. When a missing pet is found by someone else, they can quickly call you to pick them up.
- Safety – Reinforcing broken or loose fencing and gates goes a long way toward keeping your pet safe at home. A proactive approach to safety should also include screens, window panes, and even holes dug near your property’s perimeter.
- Triggers – Recognizing triggers, like thunder or fireworks, and providing care and attention during stressful times can help prevent a missing pet. Often, when a pet is left outside during a loud, unpredictable, or frightening experience, their instincts tell them to bolt. If you know that your pet doesn’t like certain holidays or noises, try to be there for them and apply certain relaxation techniques to calm them down and keep them safe.
Dealing with a Missing Pet
What are you supposed to do when you’re certain that your pet is lost or missing?
- Call the animal shelter, pet rescues, and local animal control.
- Print up recent pictures of your pet and pass them around to your neighbors and any surrounding businesses.
- Post ads on Craigslist, Facebook, and any other social media that you can use to get the word out. Ask friends to share your missing pet posts on their pages, too.
- Don’t give up. It’s critical to update any ads or posts, and continue searching.