A pet owner’s worst nightmare is to discover their beloved pet is missing. It only takes a second for a pet to slip out an open door, an open gate or to break loose from a worn collar and run to what they perceive as freedom. The key to finding a missing pet is speed. The quicker you begin the search, the more likely you are to find your missing pet safe and sound.
Start at Home
As soon as you realize your pet is missing, carefully search your home. Call your pet, shake his food bowl, rattle his leash or make any other noise that typically brings your pet running. Look under beds, chairs and other places where your pet may have curled up for a nap.
Check the Neighborhood
If your pet is nowhere to be found at home, expand the search to the neighborhood. Bring along a recent photo of your pet and knock on neighbor’s doors to ask if they have seen your pet and ask them to check their garages while you look around their yards.
Call Animal Control
Call all the animal control agencies, shelters and rescue groups within a 20 mile radius of your home. If you pet has been missing for an hour or more, he could already be at one of these facilities.
Use your printer to make fliers of your pet and hang them in store windows, tack them on light posts and hand them out at local dog parks. Include a recent photo of your pet and all pertinent contact information should someone find your pet.
Online Animal Forums
Visit an online animal forum for your general area and read the lost and found posts while making your own post for your missing pet. Consider placing an ad in your local newspaper as well.
Lost Pet Websites
Several websites exist for the sole purpose of reuniting found animals with their rightful owners. Online databases such as these can help you find you missing pet.
Place your pet’s bed, blanket and food bowl outdoors in a sheltered location, like on a front or back porch, as a lure to get him to come home of his own volition.
Visit Shelters in Person
Pay an in-person visit to local animal shelter to look for your missing pet. Sometimes the person you speak with on the phone has not seen new arrivals or pets come in dirty and injured and don’t resemble a printed description.
Don’t Give Up
Don’t give up on finding your pet, they are more resistant than we think.