Here's a great article that I thought I would pass on...hope you find it interesting! –Kim
How to Find a Lost Pet Quickly
By Rose Alexander
May 7, 2008
It can be very difficult to find a lost pet. Pets hold special places in our hearts and it is distressing to think of them being lost and alone. Even with all the preventive measures a responsible owner takes, pets can still run away and get lost quickly.
If your pet disappears, don't panic. The following steps will assist you in finding your pet or can help you assist someone in finding their lost pet. The earlier you take action, the better chance you have of finding a lost pet. Keeping calm and acting quickly is a much safer and more effective method than standing around in shock and disbelief. Many people have lost a pet and, through quick thinking, found it soon after it went missing.
Search the Neighborhood: If your pet runs away, drive around the neighborhood and pause at areas your pet is likely to be; call out its name. If your pet has favorite toys that make noise, bring those. Rattle the pet food bag or do anything noisy that would get your pet to come to you.
If you have another pet (especially a dog), bring it along as well in case it would pick up a scent. Depending on how soon you notice that your cuddly friend is gone, it may still be in the area. If you walked your pet outdoors, check the paths and routes you took before. If possible, try to keep a cell phone handy in case someone finds the animal and calls the number on the collar. It wouldn't hurt to call the neighbors you're friendly with and ask them to keep an eye out for your pet. Also have someone stay at home. Some pets return home shortly after leaving.
It's not that uncommon to have one wander off and then make its way back home later. Remember to call its name out from the yard, some animals don't want to stray too far from familiar places.
Posting "Lost Pet" Signs: If a pet is lost, there's always a chance that someone will find it. Create lost pet signs using weather-resistant paper and markers. It helps to make the print large enough for people to read easily while driving by. You should include basic information like the type of breed your pet is, any distinguishing features and contact information – usually just a phone number. As added incentive, some people offer rewards for finding their pet.
Before posting signs around town, find out where you can legally post signs. The next step is to find places with good visibility and where many people can pass by it. Most grocery stores have bulletin boards near the entrances to serve this purpose. Another good place to leave a sign is at the local veterinarian's office. If neighbors are having yard sales, drop by and leave a sign there as well. Try to inform as many people as possible that your pet is missing. They or someone they know may have seen or found the animal.
Check the Local Animal Shelter: Some people, upon finding a pet, may not have a place to keep it until the owner comes to claim it. These people resort to calling the local animal shelter and having them hold the pet.
It wouldn't hurt to call or look for your pet at the local animal shelter. If your beloved pet isn't there, ask an employee whether any pickups were requested to make sure your pet doesn't arrive after you leave. You may want to call or check in every few days to see whether it was dropped off. This is an important step to make sure your animal doesn't stay too long and get put up for adoption. It wouldn't hurt to call the veterinarian's office afterwards to see if it was brought in following an injury.
In the Meantime... You can try calling local veterinary offices in case it was brought in with an injury, but there is only so much you can do while looking for a lost pet. It's difficult, but try not to dwell on the subject any more than you need to. Do as much as you can to continue your daily routine. Should you feel sad and are unable to stop thinking about it, try a craft of some sort to make the time pass quickly. If you're trying to console a friend who has lost a pet, remind that person of all the positive things that can happen, like someone finding the animal and returning it promptly. Let that person know that some pets only go so far and then come back home or that a neighbor may find it soon.
Helping your friend scour the neighborhood not only increases the chances of finding the lost pet, but also helps your friend when he or she is going through a difficult time.
Little-used Methods: Some people will only put forth so much effort in finding their lost pet. These next few tips and ideas are not as commonly used, but could be helpful. These tips are geared toward getting the information out to more people.
Some folks will go through the trouble of ordering business cards at a local store and having them printed with information similar to the content on the lost sign. You can do several things with these cards. You could personally pass them out in public or receive permission to set them at store check out counters and registers. You also can leave a few stapled to your signs so people could take the info. The cards can be left on doorsteps and tucked into the windshield wipers of car windows.
Other people sometimes contact a lost pet service for additional search assistance and ideas. Some organizations will even send out voluntary search groups. They offer tips on how to find a lost pet, hold seminars with experienced speakers and a few even have dogs that are trained to track and find lost animals. There are pet detectives that are waiting to help you search for your lost animal. Try running searches on the Internet to find an agency near you.
Depending on the size and location of your neighborhood, if the police patrol the area regularly, you might contact the department to see if a stray pet has been reported. Local shops and stores might have overheard customers speaking of a lost animal.
The lessons learned in losing a pet can be painful, but helpful. You probably want to invest in collars that have information engraved on the tag so you can be contacted if someone finds your pet. A regular yard fence, whether wooden or metal, also helps to keep your pet at home. Invisible dog fences are popular for keeping dogs from wandering. For harder to contain animals, outdoor pets are having microchips implanted that emit radio signals when activated (see Pet Registry Services listed below). Another idea is to use a GPS unit attached to your pet. If a pet should run away or get lost, the implanted chip or GPS can lead the owners to the pet's exact location.
Figuring out the best method to find a lost pet involves a lot of time, effort and energy. Do your best while searching and think positively. Half the battle is emotional. Don't panic and do everything possible to stay positive. If you are sad and anxious, call a friend. Don't think you have to worry alone. If you use the tips above, you could very well find your lost pet within a day or two.
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