All the things discussed in Part 1-Prevention are great to do and practice; however, in the sad case your pet does go missing or becomes “Lost”, make sure you have a plan ready to go in advance.
Know Where To Look
- Contact your vet, as well as the local SPCA or ACCT, as well as all the shelters and rescues in your area and the surrounding communities — it is a good practice to keep a list of these resources close for your convenience at all times. You can even refer to such animal friendly web sites like www.FriskyInPhilly.com for a list of shelters, vets, and pet friendly services.
- Pets are resilient and they are still animals with instincts that allow them to be survivors. They can go days, sometimes weeks, on their own.
- If they are lost, this means they are confused and scared, so they most likely will find a hiding spot of some type that they feel safe and secure.
- Check all vacant buildings and lots in your neighborhood and the surrounding area. A lot of times, pets will gravitate towards water in order to find food and to hydrate, so if there are any creeks, rivers, or any bodies of water around your make sure you check them out.
- Continue to check and recheck all of your rescue and shelter resources. Reach out to local vets and support groups to assist with the search for bringing your loved one back to you.
- NEVER rule out any area — cover and scour all and any places you can think of and then some.
- Some times, especially in the case of cats, putting their food dishes and clothing of yours with your scent on it outside your house close to your door can aid a lost animal “sniffing” its way home!
However, no matter what you do, make sure you know that the most important thing to do is to…
Get The Word Out!
There are several avenues to take to get the word out. Be very aware of your pets physical attributes and their temperament. Be able to communicate these characteristics in a simple manner for the public to understand and to look out for.
- Always have current pictures of your pet to display on signs or social media.
- Develop a support group and put a team together to scour the neighborhoods and flyer telephone poles, coffee shops, restaurants, parks, pet stores, shelters, festivals, events going on, etc. and just do a guerilla flyering approach. Visit local dog parks and vet offices and talk to the people and staff and get them to rally with you to aid in the efforts to bring your pet home.
- Use the #1 resource available to us today — SOCIAL MEDIA! Tweet it. Facebook it. Instagram it. Pintrest it. Craigslist it. Whatever it takes… Just DO IT!
- All these forms of social media can definitely aid you in the efforts to help bring your love one home. Be persistent and be confident in your pursuit of social media followers. Catch their interest and they will follow! Develop a hashtag and brand it!
- Get the people, especially the media, on your side.
- If you are going to set a reward, which most people do, then set it low and stay there. The more you raise a reward, the longer the return may take to get your dog or cat home!
- Be firm in the offering. Be fair. Be cautious.
When your loved one comes back to you take him or her to a vet immediately! Do not hesitate to take them in for a full screening to determine if anything may have occurred while they were away from home. Again, this is being proactive!!!
Remember, no one is immune to the lost pet epidemic and by being a responsible pet owner is the first and foremost thing you can do to ensure your pet’s safety at all times.
This blog is in memory of all the pets who have gone missing and have never found their ways home — never give up hope and looking, you never know what can happen!
Peace. Love. Furriness. Always…