Keep your pet safe, but, should your pet get lost…
Many pets are lost or stolen each year but are never returned to their loving family. This is often because they lack the necessary information needed to contact their owners. Fact: roughly 15 million dogs and 9 million cats enter animal shelters each year but only 19 percent dogs and 3 percent cats ever find their way home!
It is best to try to prevent your pet from getting lost in the first place. All pets, even those who generally stay inside, should wear a collar bearing a tag with its owner’s name, address, and phone number as well as their County license tag. This may be difficult with cats. A tattoo or microchip is a tremendous advantage, especially for cats.
Take a good, clear picture of your pet to have on hand. Take one each year! Always keep your pet on a leash when outside. Cats should be placed in carriers. In the car keep the windows up high enough so your pet can’t jump out. If there are lots of people and activity in your home, keep your pet confined in a quiet room so that he doesn’t have an opportunity to bolt out the door.
But if the worst happens and your pet becomes lost or missing, we suggest the following:
- Get the word out fast. Make fliers that feature your pet’s picture and a detailed description of it. Include your pet’s name and information on color, breed, as well as your name, address, and phone number. Place the fliers in high traffic areas such as supermarkets, drug stores, and other area merchants. Also place them in the areas the pet might be hiding.
- Take your pet’s photo with you to inquire of your neighbors. Let everyone know your pet is missing: neighborhood children, paper boy, mail carrier, joggers, etc. Give copies of your fliers to mail carriers, trash collectors, etc.
- Place an ad in all local newspapers. Some people will keep a pet in their home until they see an ad in the paper.
- Check all shelters and rescue groups in the immediate area, using the phone book as a reference. Check and recheck with them regularly. Go in person to the shelters.
- Contact area veterinary hospitals and leave a flier there. Keep contacting them as time passes. Also contact pet groomers and pet-related stores in the area.
- Contact all animal control agencies, including city and county agencies. Check local street and highway departments, in case they have picked up your pet on the road.