Few things are worse than losing a beloved pet. Fortunately, new technologies have introduced highly effective ways to track and trace pets. Plus, you can advertise your lost pet on Internet sites that attract thousands of viewers in your area.
Try not to panic if you lose your pet; instead, quickly follow these steps. You’ll want to start searching immediately.
1) Tools You’ll Need
- Flashlight – even if it’s daylight, you’ll need this for crawl spaces.
- Dog/cat carrier – frightened pets are easier to scoop into a carrier than attach to a leash; some pets, such as cats, may not be leash-friendly.
- Favorite treats – sometimes, just shaking the bag or yelling “Treats!” or another recognizable word will bring your pet out from a hiding place.
- A favorite squeaky toy – bring any noise maker your pet will respond to.
2) Check the House First
If your pet hasn’t been gone long, chances are he or she might still be in or close to your home.
- Search every nook, cranny and crawl space.
- Check behind appliances such as washing machines, refrigerators, stoves and water heaters.
- Look under and behind furniture and cabinets, and inside closets.
- Outdoors, look in drain and sewer pipes and outdoor crawl spaces. Look inside sheds. For cats, look up trees, roofs and gutters.
3) Neighborhood Search
If your pet isn’t in or around your house, he or she may still be close by. Walk up and down the neighborhood, and talk to everyone you see, including postal deliverers, school crossing guards, sanitation and construction workers. Since they work outside, chances are they might have seen your pet. Leave your phone number and/or email. Knock on doors and ask if people have seen your pet in their yard.
Kids are great at finding lost animals, so be sure to get the neighborhood kids involved with the search.
Tip: While you’re looking, keep calling your pet’s name. They can hear from long distances. Also, if possible, bring someone along to help you cover more ground.
4) Who to Contact
Contact your local animal shelter, vet and animal control center immediately. Give a thorough description of your pet, as well as the area where you live.
5) Advertising Locally
It’s amazing how many pets are found because of advertising. Make plenty of posters and flyers with photos of your pet, along with his or her name and description. Don’t forget your contact number. List a reward but not the amount – a large amount might attract unscrupulous people. Post and deliver these posters and flyers everywhere within a couple of miles of your home: on trees, in shops and in mailboxes. The more posters and flyers you distribute, the more chances your pet has of being found.
6) Advertising Online
You might think of ClassifiedAds as a marketplace for used cars and homes for sale, but it’s also an extremely valuable source for finding lost pets – plus it’s free to post an ad or reply to one. Be sure to include clear photos of your pet, along with his or her name and a complete description. Include your first name, plus phone and email contact info. Again, you can mention a reward but don’t mention the amount.
7) The Importance of Chip ID
If your pet has been given a chip ID, then you can rest assured that if your pet has been picked up by or taken to an animal shelter or vet’s office, the chip will be scanned immediately. The chip provides the pet’s name, plus your name, address and contact information, so that the staff can contact you right away, from anywhere in the country.
If you don’t yet have your pet chipped, you can get it done (for a very small fee) at your local animal shelter or vet’s office. The ID chip is painlessly inserted in the skin fold between the pet’s shoulder blades. Thanks to chip IDs, millions of pets have been safely returned to their owners.
By advertising on ClassifiedAds.com, distributing posters and flyers, checking constantly with your local animal shelter and vet, and searching diligently (for months, if necessary), you’ll have a much better chance of finding your lost pet. Those many hours of searching will be worth every moment when the two of you are reunited once more.