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Lost and Found, Part 2: Your pet is lost, now what?

January 15, 2013
Having current clear photos of your pet(s) can help others identify them if they ever become lost.

Having current clear photos of your pet(s) can help others identify them if they ever become lost.

Despite our best efforts to keep our pets safe, unfortunately accidents happen. Anyone who has a pet dreads the thought of their pet becoming lost. But, if the unthinkable happens, what do you do?

The first thing you’ll want to do is search the area where your dog was last seen. Get people your dog knows to help you if you can. Depending on your dog’s personality, they may stay in the area or run a long distance. Some dogs are friendly and may run right up to anyone, but others may be more shy and likely to hide. However, even the most friendly dog may hide if scared. If your pet disappeared in your neighborhood, go door to door and ask your neighbors if they’ve seen your pet.

Contact the local shelters in your area; often people who find a lost pet without identification will take it to the shelter. Most shelters have a lost animal form that you can fill out and keep on file at the shelter. This will help shelter staff identify and return your pet should it end up there. This is especially important if your pet is not microchipped or wearing ID tags. If you can, visit the shelter every day to see if your pet has been brought in. You can also register your lost pet at PetHarbor.comThe Center for Lost Pets and Fido Finder.

Create a flyer and post it within a mile radius of where your pet was last seen. Take them to veterinary offices, stores, churches and schools in your area. Give them to your neighbors when you go door to door looking for your pet. Give flyers to your local delivery people and mail carriers, since they spend a lot of time driving and walking your nearby neighborhoods.

Example lost pet flyer

Place an ad in the lost and found section of your local newspapers and Craigslist. Don’t forget the power of social media… post a copy of your flyer on your Facebook or Twitter pages and ask your friends to share it. Contact local rescue groups in the area and ask them to share your flyer on their social media pages. Many pets have safely made their way home thanks to social media.

Most importantly, don’t give up! Many times pets who have been lost for months, even years have been reunited with their families.

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