GET THE WORD OUT!
Getting the word out early is the key to getting your dog or cat back safely and soundly! Don’t assume your pet will return on his own in a few hours. As soon as you are aware that your pet is missing, be sure to get the word out. Make sure you have clear photos on hand, and always make sure your dogs and cats are wearing a collar with identification tags. Identification tags will speed up the process in recovering your lost pet!
- The more people know you have lost a pet, and are upset and worried, will encourage others to be more proactive if they see an animal in the woods or on the road, or in their backyard.
- Call all your neighbors personally and make them aware of the situation.
- Place a “Lost ” ad in your local newspaper the very first morning your pet is gone. These ads are usually free.
- Visit all local dog pounds and animal shelters daily!
- Make lots of posters! Keep it simple: “LOST DOG (or cat)!” should be at the top in large, easy to read, (even from a moving vehicle) in bold letters. Include a brief description or breed type. Don’t assume that people will know your particular breed, so always include a description. Include the animal’s name as it may make it easier for someone to call your pet over and capture him. Offer a reward, but don’t state how much in the ad, and include your telephone number in large numbers at the bottom of the poster.
- Make dozens of index cards with the same information as above. Drop these off at every home near the location of where your pet disappeared. Stop and speak with every person you encounter: the more people know about your lost pet, the more likely the one person who spots him will call you. Your pet may be frightened so ask people to please check their barns and sheds, especially at night.
- Get out and call for your pet by name. Enlist family and friends to canvas the neighborhood, in all directions, on the roads and as the crow flies. Don’t try to predict where your pet could or wouldn’t have gone –YOU NEVER KNOW. The best time to call for your pet is at night, and at dawn. If you are calling from your car, drive slowly, roll down all the windows, stop and turn your vehicle off frequently to listen.
- Dogs and cats often wander far away, and do things you wouldn’t predict they would do. Try everything, look everywhere, tell everyone. You’d be surprised how many people will be supportive, will get out and help you look, will offer words of encouragement and hope, will suggest places to look that other stray animals have gone.
- Even the friendliest and most social pet may quickly become terrified and wild. Your own friendly pet, when lost, may hide from people, run away if he sees a person, he may even run away from you. Don’t chase after a lost pet they are much faster and you’ll only scare them more. Instead, sit on the ground; talk in normal tones, repeating his name and familiar phrases over and over again. A frightened animal will usually stick around, and after a few minutes or hours, come closer and closer.
Lastly, Don’t Give Up!