9 Steps for Finding a Lost Pet
By Sheryl Greenblatt
Losing a pet is every fur parents worst nightmare. If your four-legged child has gotten loose or snuck out, reacting quickly and calmly will give you the best chance of having them returned without a single whisker harmed. Here are nine steps to bring your baby home:
- Canvas the neighborhood as soon as you notice that your pet is missing. Enlist family, friends, and neighbors to help. This can be a traumatic experience for your pet and they will likely be frightened. Call the animal’s name repeatedly and have treats and a leash or carrier on hand to entice your baby over.
- File a lost pet report with the local animal shelters. Visit the shelters each day and check online to see if your baby has been found and brought in. You can search The Animal Foundation online at: www.animalfoundation.com/lost-found/ and Henderson Animal Shelter at www.cityofhenderson.com/animal-control/lost-and-found.
- If your pet is micro-chipped and registered with a service like Home-Again or 24PetWatch, notify them immediately so they can send out an alert to pet lovers in your neighborhood.
- Make missing pet posters and hang them around your neighborhood. Place them on mailboxes, street signs, in grocery stores, the library, etc. Include breed, color, weight, sex, age, and any special markings. If possible, leave one identifying characteristic off of the flier. When someone finds your pet, ask them to describe it so you know they’ve got the right one. Make sure to include your contact information and any special instructions about approaching your baby. You can offer a reward, but it’s best not to list the amount on the poster.
- Contact veterinary clinics throughout the valley to see if anyone has brought in an injured or stray animal. Since vets can scan for micro-chips, a rescuer may bring your pet there even if they are not injured.
- Utilize the power of social media. Include your flier on Facebook, Twitter, and any other sites you use. Ask friends to share the post so it reaches an even wider audience.
- Place a few pieces of worn clothing outside your house. If your pup is still in the neighborhood, he may be able to pick up on your smell and follow it home.
- Visit www.petharbor.com and search by city. This will allow you to check with local animal rescues that may have found your pet and are keeping him or her safe until you can be reunited.
- Don’t panic and never give up. Pets have been returned to their families months, even years later.
These steps can help bring your baby home, but the best time to take action is before your pet gets lost. Most importantly, get your pet micro-chipped. For a minimal amount of money, and a small amount of discomfort to your baby, you can ensure that if Fido ever gets out and is found, he will be returned to you within two shakes of a dog’s tail.