When Your Pet Goes Missing
Fido and Felix are not “just pets”: they are members of your family. When one of them goes missing, here’s what you need to do.
1. Remain calm.
2. Have you looked in all his usual hang-outs? Is he under the bed? Behind the curtains? In that little storage space under the stairs?
3. Check with members of your household. When did they see him last? Where was he then?
4. Check with neighbors. When did they see him last? Where was he then?
5. Contact your city pound. If your pet was found wandering around on his own, he was likely taken to the city pound. If he is not there, you can check back with them periodically to see if he is taken there later. Some pounds will record your name, telephone number, and a description of your missing pet so that they can contact you if a pet matching that description comes to their facility.
6. Leaving one person at home at all times just in case your lost loved one returns home, have other members of your family walk or drive the areas that your pet may be. They should be calling his name as they search for him: in doing so, he can hear them and come to them if he is lost. Good spots to look for him include city parks, the neighbor’s backyard, and the meat packing plant a mile away (sometimes, a meaty smell wafts out of the facility and it may have attracted Fido or Felix).
7. Send out an e-mail or post on your social networking website that Fido or Felix is missing. Include a photo so that every recipient knows what pet to be looking for.
8. If he remains missing after 24 hours, you should make “LOST” posters and put them up in prominent locations such as on telephone poles near major intersections throughout your community, in veterinarian offices in your community, etc. These posters typically have the word “LOST” at the top, in large, bold print. Just below that, a picture of Fido or Felix is typically displayed. Below the picture is information about your pet (i.e., “Fido is a 3-year-old black lab-German Shepherd mix. He answers to the name ‘Fido’ and ‘Boy’.”). Below that information is information about you (i.e., If you find Fido, please call Jan or Jamie at 877-492-xxxx. We miss him very much!”).
9. Consider offering a reward for his return.
Once your Fido or Felix is back home again, you should consider getting an ID tag placed on his collar. This will identify his name, your name, and your telephone number. Should there be a next time, the ID tag will enable whoever finds him to contact you immediately and get him back home quickly.
One additional consideration: some families choose to implant their pets with microchips that help lost pets return home.