Lost and Found

The website for the Humane Society of the United States  (www.humanesociety.org) has some excellent information about how and why pets get lost, and how they can often end up far away from their homes, making it even more difficult to find them. Cats get stuck up in trees and are afraid to make any noise. Dogs become disoriented, especially if they were maybe new in the home and in unfamiliar surroundings. Some are picked up by well-meaning folks who just want to save them from being struck by a car and are transported a distance away. If a pet does not have a collar with an I.D. tag or a microchip, there is no way to find the owner. Sometimes the person who found them will run a Found ad, but if they aren’t able to keep and care for the animal, it may well end up in a shelter. That is a better fate than running in the streets, but once again, if the owner can’t be located, that particular pet’s future may well be jeopardy.

At this busy time of year, pets can easily escape their house or yard and go missing. If this should happen to your pet, the best thing you can do is to become immediately proactive. Don’t hesitate to call local shelters, rescue groups, veterinarians, and animal control and report your pet missing along with giving them your contact information. Start talking to your neighbors, mail delivery persons, and any others who make regular visits to your neighborhood. Hand out flyers with a recent picture of your pet, if possible, and where you can be reached. Many pets manage to find their way home within a short time, but if this doesn’t happen, post notices at grocery store bulletin boards, veterinary offices, pet stores, and place an ad in a local newspaper. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic so that if someone finds him, you can use that to determine if it really is your pet. Use social media to reach out. Facebook and Twitter are two means of letting folks know you are searching for your missing pet.

Beware of pet recovery scams, especially anyone who wants money for the return of your pet. Most likely, they do not have your furry friend. Visit all nearby shelters, if at all possible, even if you’ve called them, to make certain your pet isn’t there. As long as your pet is still missing, call them frequently. Most importantly, don’t give up. Pets that have been missing for a very long time are often found and returned to their homes. We once had a small poodle escape our house and disappear for three weeks. She had recently been re-homed to us and was no doubt trying to get back to the people who could no longer keep her. Thankfully, Nikki still had a rabies tag on her collar, and when someone found her, they were able to locate the previous owners through the veterinary hospital listed on the tag. They then got in touch with us.

For more information and for lists of specific tips on finding lost dogs and cats, visit the Petfinder website at www.petfinder.com.

We recently had to say goodbye to our elderly cat Spider. At 16 he had a good long life, but it’s never easy when the time comes and a decision must be made. It was a sad day, but I’m thankful we could be there for him and he is now in a better place. Rest in peace, old friend. The house isn’t quite the same without you.


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One Comment on “Lost and Found”

  1. Such an important post especially during this season of people traveling far and wide with their pets and pets staying with friends and family while the animals human is away.

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