Losing a pet can be traumatic and heartbreaking for the owners, and potentially life threatening for the pets themselves. Dogs, cats, and other pets are lost every day due to theft or simply running away. Recovering your lost pet can be very difficult, but there are a few things you can do to improve your chances. Try these 5 tips to help recover a lost pet and reunite with your animal companion.
- Offer a Reward
When you’ve lost a pet, you may run into this common problem–someone has found your animal, but doesn’t want to give it up. Some people take in strays out of good will and simply become attached to them. Others may want to keep an animal for breeding, selling, or other more nefarious reasons. Offering a reward for the return of your pet increases the likelihood of a finder coming forward. The safe return of your pet will be well worth the cost of the reward.
- Spread the Word
Tell your friends and neighbors when your pet has been lost, as well as any locals you might run into regularly at nearby dog parks. This will give you eyes all over town, increasing your chances of spotting your lost dog. Even if your friends and neighbors aren’t actively searching, they might happen to see someone walking your dog or notice a found pet ad that you missed. Increasing awareness is always helpful, so tell everyone about your missing pet.
- Post Paper and Digital Ads
Putting up fliers in the neighborhood is a great way to start the search for your lost pet. Include a photo as well as a description, the pet’s name, information about where he or she was last seen, and of course your contact information. At the same time, post ads online at websites like Craigslist and Facebook to reach an even larger audience. Your pet may have gotten farther than you’d think, so post your ads far and wide.
- Check Local Shelters
If your lost pet has been picked up, he or she might have gotten into a local shelter. Recovered strays are often placed in shelters, so make phone calls to any in your area, or visit in person. Ask if a pet like yours has recently come into the shelter. Most of the workers at these places are passionate about keeping animals in loving homes, so they will be able to help you better than most. Leave your name and number, and they can even call you if a pet matching your description turns up.
- Pet Microchips
Microchips are somewhat controversial among many pet owners, but they are also one of the best preventative measures you can take for a lost pet. Outfitting your pet with an identifying microchip is as easy as applying Frontline to keep fleas away. A veterinarian can microchip your pet quickly and inexpensively. Now, if your pet is lost and makes its way to a shelter or vet’s office, it can be scanned and immediately identified by its chip. This is one of the best ways you can increase your chances of recovering your pets, if they should ever be abducted or wander off.