These are the most important basics that pet parents should adhere to when getting the word out they have lost a pet.
Go In Person To Your Local Municipal Shelter
* Your pet may have been found and taken there by a member of the public or Animal Services.
* Go in person and verify if your pet has been surrendered there. Do not rely on making a phone call or looking at their website.
* Take a recent photo of your pet, a copy of a flyer you may have already printed, and proof of ownership.
* Check the shelter’s website for postings but remember that descriptions are not necessarily accurate and a photo taken by the staff may be deceptive.
* You must visit the shelter personally every two days at the very least, preferably daily. Do not rely solely on the shelter’s website. You are the only person who can truly identify your pet.
* Each shelter is operated differently and hold times vary. After a certain number of days, a pet can be put up for adoption or, sadly, it may be put down (destroyed). Typically, kittens, cats and seniors, as well as sick and injured pets, have a very low survival rate.
Put Up Flyers
* Immediately make some flyers and put them up in your neighborhood.
* Make an extra big one and display it in your own yard so people know where the pet lives.
Use The Internet, Social Media And Other Tools
* Post a description with photo of your missing pet and your contact information. Re-post daily until it is found.
* Check the section that contains postings of missing pets that are looking for their owner. Do so multiple times a day.
Suggested sites and tools include:
* private, locally-run pet lost and found
* Craig’s List
* Local newspapers, online AND print versions (lost and found ads are usually free).
* Your Home Owners Association, country club, school, church…
Word Of Mouth
Inform as many people as possible who live or work in your area, including veterinarians, emergency vet clinics and privately-run rescue organizations.
Stay Strong And Positive
The volunteers who run a Lost and Found FB page for pets in my area do a wonderful job. They also encourage owners who feel helpless and desperate and are starting to lose hope.
* They will tell you not to despair.
* They will tell you not to give up too soon.
* They will urge you to keep searching actively for at least 8-12 weeks.
The reward will be worth it.
Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!