Help them to find their way home!
For any of you who have ever had a pet go missing you’ll understand how painful it can be. Not only do you miss them, you are also deeply concerned for their safety and can even feel guilty for thinking that you didn’t do enough to keep them safe.
The first thing you usually do is frantically hit the pavement hoping that they didn’t make it any further than your local area. But there are a lot of other things you can do to protect your pet and make sure they return home safe and sound.
It is important to ensure that your dogs and cats are wearing a visible collar with identification tags beforehand. Read our blog on Microchipping, which is a crucial and effective form of identification.
It sounds obvious but your pet may not be far away, try calling their name every day outside and they may just turn up. The best time is at night and early in the morning when there aren’t as many people around.
Whether or not you are fortunate to have supplied them with identification beforehand now is the time to get the word out as quickly as you possibly can. Find a recent and clear photo of them; using more than one might be helpful.
Make some clear posters with an image of your missing pet and all information needed. Try and keep the wording simple, with ‘Lost Dog/Cat/Dolphin/Whatever your pet is’ at the top in clear, bold captioning. Then include a brief description of your pet, remember everyone may not be familiar with terminology or breeds so whilst giving this information, try and describe the look so a non-dog owner can understand. Give people an idea of where your pet might be hiding if scared – e.g. asking people to check their sheds.
Giving the name of your pet will allow anyone who sees it to call it over. It also communicates how valued this pet is to you and your family. If you can afford it, you could offer a reward, but don’t say how much or what and then include your contact details. The information can also be placed in your local paper or made smaller into leaflets or cards that can be delivered to people in the area, you can also ask local businesses if they can put them in the window. It’s also a really good idea to share your poster on social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.
Start being active, talk to your neighbours, call all vets, local kennels, groomers, dog or cat shelters and even your local police may have seen them whilst driving around.
Finally don’t give up, your much-loved cat or dog could turn up at any time and good luck!
If you have any other top tips on what to do if your pet goes missing please let us know on Facebook hilifecat / hilifedog or Twitter @HiLifeCat / @HiLIfeDog