I’ve lost my pet – what can I do?
Here are some tips on how to find your lost pet:
- Your first step is to contact your local Animal Control
- Search your neighbourhood
Walk or drive through your neighbourhood several times a day, especially early in the morning and at dusk. Ask neighbours, letter carriers, joggers, garbage collectors, newspaper carriers and others to look out for your pet.
- Visit animal shelters and the animal pound
Go and personally visit the animal shelters in your area – rather than phoning them. If you have a current picture of the animal, that would be very helpful in the process as well. Often shelters have many animals that might match your pets’ description. Visit the shelter every 24 hours.
- List on HelpingLostPets.com
Use this free website to list your pet, create a poster, notify members in your area and there are links provided to post on Facebook and other social media.
- Put up posters
Distribute flyers in as many public places you can think of, including grocery stores, community centres, churches, schools, pet stores, animal groomers, etc. If possible include a picture of your pet. Describe your pet in detail, including your pet’s name. Include the date and place the animal was lost and a phone number where you can be reached. Mention any particular markings or the colour of your pet’s collar in the write-up.
- Place an ad in the paper
Place an ad in your local newspapers. Since many papers allow people to put found ads for free, check newspapers regularly in case someone is trying to find you.
- Use the Internet
There are many websites dedicated to helping lost and found animals be returned to their guardians.
- Check animal hospitals and vet clinics
If your pet was injured they may have been taken to a nearby veterinarian or animal hospital before being taken to the local animal shelter.
- Don’t give up!
Continue to search for your pet even when there is little hope. Some animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their families.
When your pet returns:
- It is a good idea to have your veterinarian give your pet a check-up, especially if the animal has been missing for a considerable time.
- Notify your local animal shelter and all surrounding shelters that you have found your pet
- Take down posters in neighbourhood.
- If your pet did not have identification before it became lost, make sure you put ID on the animal now.
- Keep your dog on a leash during walks.
- If you own a cat, consider keeping it indoors. Even if your feline is currently an outdoor cat, it can be trained to stay in the house. Outdoor dangers include: parasites, poison, disease, traps, other animals and predators, cars, and abusive people.
Before your pet goes missing:
- Your cat or dog should have external identification. Microchips and tattoos are becoming popular, but do not replace external ID. The more identification the better.
- Keep on file a detailed description – with a current colour photograph – of your pet. Pay special attention to details that will especially help identification i.e. unusual markings.
- Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations
- Keep a list of local animal shelters handy