There are several things you can do as soon as you notice your pet missing. You can go online and alert local neighborhood groups, post virtual flyers, if your pet is microchipped contact local veterinarians’ offices, and local shelter to see if your pet has been brought in.
Is your pet wearing current tags?
No matter how careful we are sometimes accidents happen. Even happy well-loved pets have an adventurous streak. A door or a gate accidentally left open or a new hole in the fence can lead a happy wandering pet enjoying themselves to become a lost pet if they get out of the house or yard. Some dogs are runners.
It is easy to get upset and panic. However, it isn’t very productive. Firstly check your home and yard. A sick pet or hurt pet will try to hide. Rule out any new spots they may be hiding or sleeping in. If you are sure Fido or Fluffy is missing, time is of the essence.
What if your pet gets lost
Take a look around your neighborhood. A pet might be happily walking themselves along the usual course around the neighborhood. Especially dogs, they like to explore and run. If they are bored and escape they might literally run away far. You may need to search up to five miles from your home block by block.
If it is your indoor cat that has ventured out, it can be stressful for your cat and they may be scared or panicked. I recommend putting their litter box outside to help guide them home. I wish I had known about that trick when my old guy got out a few years ago.
Do you find a scared cat with an orange collar ?
Some breeds are more likely to want to roam. I remember when I was about 7yo, a friend gave us a beagle puppy. She was so sweet and adorable and ridiculously smart. However, we were ignorant and it was the 70’s so we didn’t have the resources that we do today. She stayed with us for about a week, unfortunately, she escaped repeatedly and the last time she was lost for good. I like to think she just found a new family she liked better, or she went to go live on a farm. I will never really know. Today, it’s a different world, if your dog or cat gets out, don’t worry there are lots of resources to help find him.
Pizza used to have a big brother, once morning I woke up to a disaster! His big fat fluffy brother Ricky had managed to push the screen off and he fell out the window. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a long drop but out he went. It was more likely that he and Pizza were wrestling and they pushed it out. Ricky was an older rescue and although he liked to be inside, I am pretty sure he was an indoor-outdoor cat with his previous owners. He was gone for an entire day. The next evening he finally came home and cried be let back in, from outside the window where he fell. He and I were lucky. Today I know much more about pets and how to help them. It was a long night without him.
(In an unrelated incident Ricky crossed the Rainbow Bridge about 2013.)
If you are on social media, there is a multitude of ways to use social media to help look for your little family member. If you are on Facebook, you can search for lost pet groups in your neighborhood. I have followed many posts over the years where animals were saved and returned by spreading the local news on these types of media platforms.
Spreading the word as quickly as possible is so helpful for a safe swift return. As counterintuitive as it may seem to look online, remember sharing your story online gets to hundreds of friends and neighbors FAST. You never know who might see your post and spot your missing buddy wandering around town. Sometimes a tired dog hops willingly into cars of loving rescuers. Spreading the word of your lost pet through online resources is one of the easiest ways to get the word out if your pet has been taken off the streets. I have read many success stories and happy reunions, sometimes weeks after the incident. Mediators on these websites and Facebook groups can be reached quickly so approval of your post happens easily.
Lost Pet Posters
A good old fashioned Lost Pet poster is also useful. You will need a current picture of your missing furry family member and an accurate way for someone to get ahold of you.
Use Bright colored poster paper and indelible ink to make sure it is highly visible and the info doesn’t run if the weather turns. Posting around the neighborhood is good, especially on busy intersections or local store pet stores and veterinarian bulletin boards. (Make it easy for yourself to go back and remove the signs once Fido is home safe)
Local Shelters and Veterinarians
Quite often good caring citizens who have rescued a wandering pet, can’t care for them and take the lost pet to the shelter. You can check
Pet Harbor for newly dropped off pets.
However, sometimes it is more efficient to just go down and check for yourself. Imagine how relieved your pet would be if you found them at the shelter soon after being dropped off. It may have seemed like a good idea to go exploring, however, I’m sure it is a frightening and stressful experience to get lost, found, and turned into the shelter. The Pet Shelter is a busy loud, place sometimes it is quite possible it takes a day or so to get the information about a found pet on to the website.
If only a wandering pet who gets lost could talk, but they can’t. Therefore When an animal is dropped off the shelter or offices, they check for collars and especially microchips. Making sure your pet has updated identification is a foolproof way to ensure you get reunited.
1.Check hiding places at home and around the yard
2.Notify resources online and social media
3.Look in your surrounding neighborhood
4.Check with local shelter and veterinarians
5.Put up Lost Pet posters
6.Don’t give up.
Remember your lost pet, misses you as much as you miss him. When you are safely home together again, maybe you should update his tags
I’m a busy blogger pet parent to my senior-aged cat Pizza. We have traveled all over Los Angeles, endured several moves, jobs, roommates and now global pandemic together. Today we write, learn, and share information and our favorite products, in hopes you can experience your best life with pets too, We currently live with other humans and their beautiful dog.