The Missing Pets Bureau says that more than 2,500 dogs and 3,200 cats go missing every week. Some pets lose their way while others are actually stolen. Either way, it becomes difficult to locate where your pet went, but precautions, persistence and patience can help bring you back in touch with the missing pet in your life.
Recently, a cat named Mousie was reunited with his owner, Ira Bauert, after a year since his disappearance. Mousie went missing while Bauert was on holiday vacation. Diana Lewis of the North Devon Animal Ambulance found the cat, and she discovered that Mousie had been micro-chipped in Germany. Temporarily Mousie was nicknamed Herman the German, and he was put in isolation for four months before he could be sent home.
Pet owners rely on people like Lewis and organizations like animal hospitals and shelters to assist with finding and reuniting animals. However, as a pet owner, there are some ways to increase your pet’s chances of safely and quickly returning home if they go missing.
Tips for Pet Owners
- Keep a collar with an updated ID tag on your pet at all times. The ID tag should include the pet’s name and phone number. Permanent microchips are added insurance, and they cost anywhere from $20 to $60 so they can be inexpensive.
- Walk around your neighborhood and nearby developments to see if your cat has simply wandered off. Call your pet’s name and shake a bag of treats as you walk. Ask anyone who crosses your path if they have seen your pet, and take a flashlight with you so you can look in dark places. If your pet is injured, it might not make any sounds or be able to come to you.
- Contact your veterinarian and local shelters and advise them that your pet has gone missing. Provide them with a description of your pet as well as your contact information or fax or email them the information with a picture of your pet.
- Place an advertisement in your local newspaper and post flyers with a colored photograph of your pet.
- Leave food and water outside your front or back door and leave a light on. If you have a pet bed or a blanket that has your scent and your pet’s scent on it, put it outside too.
- Search online to see if someone has posted that they have found your pet. Some animal organizations have bulletin boards, or it’s possible to find your pet listed on Craigslist.
- Check your old home if you have recently moved. Your pet might have been confused and went back to the neighborhood they were familiar with.
- Keep a picture of your pet with you at all times so that you can ask random people you run into at the grocery store, shopping mall, park, etc.
If your pet doesn’t turn up within a week, don’t lose hope. Be consistent in your search by reading the newspaper’s classified section every day and following up with your veterinarian, animal shelters and neighbors on a regular basis.