HELPFUL STRATEGIES FIND PETS

When we share success stories and the helpful strategies used to find pets that went missing, everyone benefits.

Firstly, let me point out that this post is designed to give you a wide variety of options to try. What has worked for others, may well work for you, too. So, please keep an open mind. Be creative, have the courage to try new tactics, and get reunited with that precious furry member of your family.

I have no doubt that when you read the following accounts, you will find them inspirational. These three pet parents didn’t stop, didn’t give up, and the outcome was…a win. Because of their actions, Fido and Fluffy are home, sweet home, again!

Check your security cameras and any nearby for sightings of your lost pet Photo credit: Taken by Bearas, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Check your security cameras and any nearby for sightings of your lost pet.
Photo credit: Taken by Bearas, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

OUR FIRST LOST PETS SEARCH SUCCESS 

Story Posted By Paula Valentino, Cat Lover

The only way a lost cat can find its way home on its own is with its nose. Cats not only know their own scent, but they know yours too,” Valentino said.

Because cats can smell up to one mile away from home, she suggested leaving the dirty litter box outside. And that goes for any clothing that has a strong smell of you. This would include items like exercise garments and smelly sneakers.

If you leave your garage door slightly raised, your lost pet will have shelter until you notice it has returned home
If you leave your garage door slightly raised, your lost pet will have shelter until you notice it has returned home

Valentino also recommended raising your garage door just enough so kitty can get underneath. Also, putting a sign with a cat’s face in your yard that says LOST CAT REWARD. Another important tip is to check any security cameras in the area (your neighbors’ as well as your own).

“And, make sure you talk to your mail carrier. They’re always driving in the area. Ask them to keep an eye out, too,” she added.

STORY NUMBER TWO 

Told By Lee Rider Stymie, Cat Guardian

This worked getting mine back, after almost 4 months, after Hurricane Irma,” Stymie recalled. She broke down her strategies into two parts. However, we are going to focus on when cats have been gone for longer than a just a few weeks. 

“A couple of things I did. I got Office Depot to make up business cards with LOST CAT at the top. It had her picture, name, distinctive marks, as well as my name and phone number. A hundred cards for $10.00. Worth it when you are out talking to people. They generated a lot of calls.

By leaving your shed door partially open, your missing pet may be able to follow the food trail described here
By leaving your shed door partially open, your missing pet may be able to follow the food trail
described here

“Then I set up a trap for my cat. I knew she would be difficult, so I used my attached shed as one big trap,” commented Stymie. She let every creature out there (opossums, raccoons, other cats) come in to eat. What Stymie planned so skillfully was create a scent trail to food. And this is precisely the helpful strategy used to find her pet.

Food Is A Powerful Tool

“I did the ‘Kitty Blast’ trifecta of tuna (in oil), sardines, and Jack Mackerel. Don’t make up a lot, mix together, and be sure its mush. Only put out about a tablespoon of the mixture. I also used cheap dry cat food, about two hands full. Keep the bowls full. The animals will check about twice a night,” she continued.

Strong-smelling fishy kitty food helps set up a scent trail
Strong-smelling fishy kitty food helps set up a scent trail

Then she set up up her cellphone in the shed and streamed a private Periscope feed. From her tablet, she was able to see who was going in. Then, once they finished and left, this determined cat guardian would replenish the bowls.

Dry cat food serves as a tool to attract a pet gone missing
Dry cat food serves as a tool to attract a pet gone missing

“Once you get that scent trail down, you’ll then start to see your baby following it to your feed station. That’s how I got mine back,” Stymie said with great relief. Apparently, the feline had only ventured about five streets away. Nevertheless, she stated that cats normally will follow trails we cannot see, or see them.

THREE-ELEMENT COMBINATION

Anonymous Dog Parent

We do not know this person’s name but they were reunited with their dog as a result of this strategy. Here, the story demonstrates that flexibility, perseverance and a gut feeling can produce a happy ending. And, fortunately, the situation was such that three key elements worked together perfectly. Give it a try!

A helpful strategy to find a lost pet is leave out your smelly sneakers
A helpful strategy to find a lost pet is leave out your smelly sneakers

Select an article of clothing that has been worn all day, so your lost dog can pick up your scent. If your pet has one, get its crate (and a familiar toy). Take them to the location where the dog was last seen and leave them there. That is, of course, if the spot is appropriate for them to be left there. 

Successful search for a lost pet after leaving its crate at location where last seen Photo credit: Taken by Elf, transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by JohnnyMrNinja using CommonsHelper. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Successful search for a lost pet after leaving its crate at location where last seen.
Photo credit: Taken by Elf, transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by JohnnyMrNinja using CommonsHelper. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Assuming you can do this, it would be advisable to attach a note asking others not to move the items. Putting out a bowl of water is fine but food is not recommended. That’s because it may attract other animals the dog would likely want to avoid. Return the next day, or check intermittently, if possible. Hopefully your pet will be waiting for you. 

After implementing this helpful strategy to find their lost pet, the anonymous owner wrote the following comment. “I was skeptical. I doubted my dog would be able to detect an article of clothing if he didn’t hear me calling his name. As loud as possible. All day. For 12 days. But I returned the next day and, sure enough, found him sitting there! I hope this helps someone out there who’s missing a best friend. Good luck.”

To Sum Up

Hopefully, these experiences have broadened your range of options for finding pets that have gone missing. Besides, don’t forget that you are not alone. There are others eager to share what they also went through to get their precious dogs and cats back home, where they belong. 

So, reach out to others. Continue to learn. And, most importantly, put these skills into practice to benefit yourself and the pet parent community at large.

Next Time, A Different Angle

For my next article on this topic, I will introduce you to a veterinarian who partnered with a municipal shelter in Colorado. My goal is to highlight the medical attention needed by lost animals that end up in such facilities, wherever they happen to be.                                               

See you soon!

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  

More must-read articles in this category:

Recently updated blog, now the introductory article in a mini series on losing, finding and reuniting companion animals https://petpeevesunmasked.com/lost-pets-search-tips

Pet guardians forget that dogs have wild instincts and can easily run off https://petpeevesunmasked.com/dogs-run-away-because/

Chip scan 24/7/365 to get a missing pet back home http://petpeevesunmasked.com/take-lost-pets-here-for-microchip-scanning/

Also, if you’d like to read about the safety concerns of domesticated cats that are allowed to roam, please visit https://petpeevesunmasked.com/indoor-outdoor-cat-statistics/