What To Do In Case You Lose Your Pet
By Kadence Buchanan
According to the most recent Synovate pet survey (Sept. 2005), conducted in nine markets across the globe, the UK and the US were shown to be the two absolute leaders in pet ownership. But the world-wide annual statistics on missing pets are shocking. Over 10 million pets go missing every year and millions never make it back home. This short rescue guide was compiled in order to minimize the chances of you ever having to file a missing pet report and to provide to all US pet-lovers a comprehensive list of the things one should know and do before and after his/her independent companion decides to migrate and explore the unknown. Just read carefully the tips that follow keeping in mind that you should not get discouraged or panic if your pet disappears. By following our advice and keeping yourself organized and prepared at all times, the chances are that you will be reunited with your lost friend again soon.
Plan ahead: Create an emergency action list and keep it handy in house or car. Check frequently your pet’s neck to ensure that the collar is in place and that its rabies tag and pet license tag are there; apart from pet’s ID your current phone number should appear. If your pet carries a microchip or a tattoo have that number with you all the time (in your wallet). Make sure you have recent reliable photos of your pet. Create a pet file on your PC with pet web directories and have all the local pet authorities’ telephone numbers also in print. Keep an updated map of your area with your emergency pet kit. Frequently check your locks, doors, windows and fence for possible escape passages. Do not trust strangers and never leave your pet unattended outside stores or inside vehicles. Register your pet to the available services of your area; you will save precious time if your pet becomes lost.
Your pet is missing: Check everywhere you can and do it quickly! Ask friends, neighbors and local pet authorities to assist you in your search. Create and distribute flyers including your pet’s pictures and your phone number and never state the exact amount if you decide to offer a reward or your real name and house address. Scan your neighborhood and give a copy of the missing pet’s flyer to everyone you meet, asking them to call you in case they see or hear anything. Have a real live person or if that is impossible a telephone recording machine answering the phone. Check all the clinics of your area frequently and visit the local shelters in person everyday. Befriend the employees and request their assistance. Inform the local veterinarian offices and the police. Provide all the details they need, but leave a few of your pet’s characteristics out. These will later help you identify whether the person claiming to have found your pet has actually your companion in his/her possession. Never visit by yourself someone that called and reported to have your pet. Take a friend with you or arrange to meet in a public place or the police department. Contact the local media and create a publicity fuss. Publicize your pet’s disappearance via the internet and local newspapers. Check the ‘found pet’ section of your local newspapers daily. Most importantly, do not give up hope. Keep looking and good luck!
Your pet is back: Once reunited with your pet, of extreme importance is for you to discover what circumstances allowed it to escape and perform any necessary changes to prevent a similar incident from happening again. Do not forget to call your neighbors, friends, local veterinarian clinics and shelters, to inform them that your pet is back. Of course, always remember to keep a collar and a current identification tag on your pet at all times, even when they are in your house. Your pet’s ID is actually its ticket home.
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