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What Would You Do If You Lost Your Pet?

Friday, April 17, 2015

 

dog with ID tagWe pet lovers will tell you our pets are our 4-legged kids. We do everything we can to protect them. But even the most cautious person can accidentally leave a door open, and suddenly Sparky sneaks out unannounced. When pets are our family, a missing pet can be our worst nightmare. 

According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), only 15% to 20% of dogs who end up at shelters are returned to their owners, and less than 2% of cats are returned to their owners. Most of those pets were reunited with their families because of collars with current tags or microchips.

Keep your pet's ID current

There are a few things you can do now to help your chances of being reunited with your pet should he or she become lost:

  • Make sure your pet wears a collar with identification tags that include 2 contact phone numbers. (Breakaway collars are still recommended for indoor/outdoor cats.)
  • Microchip your pet! It’s easy and affordable.
  • Once a year, confirm with the microchip company or service provider that your contact info is current. Include an alternate contact as a back-up.
  • Take yearly photos of your pet so you always have a current photo should you ever need to make a "Lost Pet" flyer.

cat with ID tagWhat if your pet goes missing?

Even with the best efforts, your pet may still become lost. Here are some tips to increase your luck of being reunited with your lost pet:

  • Take immediate action when you notice your pet is missing! The longer you wait to take action, the further from home your pet can roam.
  • Report your lost pet to all area animal shelters, rescue groups and vet clinics.
  • Visit local shelters to look for your pet. You know your pet better than anyone else, and descriptions over the phone can vary depending on the person at the other end of the line.
  • Search online for lost pet databases like Pet Harbor. Some communities have local lost pet Facebook pages or groups, like this one for Arizona.
  • Use your current pet photo to make "Lost Pet" flyers and distribute all over your neighborhood. 
  • Post "Lost Pet" flyers in high-traffic areas such as community boards, gas stations, grocery stores, thrift shops and busy intersections.
  • Use social media to send notice to friends and family that your pet is missing.
  • Tag your car! Print out a large photo and use bright-colored shoe polish to let your community know about your missing pet. Be sure to add a contact number.
  • Don’t give up! Many pets have been found weeks, even months, later.

As awareness increases about the importance of pet microchips and ID collars, combined with knowledge of how to react swiftly should a pet go missing, the more pets will be happily reunited with their pet parents.

 

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