Help! What to Do if Your Pet is Lost
Discovering that your pet is missing will stop your heart. Stay calm, and follow these tips for recovering your pet. Nancy of Grady Veterinary Hospital shares resources, contacts and advice for finding you lost dog or cat.
How to Prevent a Lost Cat or Dog
Spring weather means more time spent outdoors, which is wonderful! But it also offers more chance for your pet to escape or go missing. Grady Veterinary Hospital recommends taking these steps to prevent losing a pet and making a lost pet easier to find:
- Escape-Proof Your Home: Check your windows, doors and ductwork to make sure there are no areas open to the outdoors. Pets are curious and will take any opportunity they can to explore.
- Escape-Proof Your Yard: Inspect fencing and gates for gaps or holes. If your dog is a digger, run the fence below the ground. If your dog is a jumper, install a high fence. We’ve even seen dogs climb chain-link fences. Know your dog’s behavior and protect your yard accordingly.
- Microchipping: This simple, economical procedure can be done within a visit to your veterinarian. A small chip is inserted in the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades. If your pet becomes lost, veterinarians and shelters around the country have scanners that identify your pet and direct them to your contact information. Microchips reunite countless pets with their owners each year.
If Your Cat or Dog is Missing, Get the Word Out Fast
After you’ve checked hiding spaces around your property, the most important thing is to spread the word as quickly as possible that your pet is lost.
First, call SPCA Cincinnati to see if your pet has been picked up or if someone has brought your pet to them.
- (513) 541-6100
You can file a Missing Pet Report with the agency. Be as specific as possible about your pet’s name, appearance, collar, tags etc. Any detail that is unique about your pet will help people identify them. Also, tell them your geographic area.
Where to Look for Your Missing Pet
Next, visit the SPCA shelters to search for your pet. Keep visiting and searching day-by-day until your pet is returned.
Here’s a link to SPCA locations in the Cincinnati area. The Missing Pet Report is important, but your pet might not be recognized.
Contact Your Veterinarian
Your veterinarian will have additional steps to recommend for finding your pet. And, in the event that your pet is returned to your veterinarian’s office, they will know what’s going on and be able to contact you.
It’s possible you’ll want to contact other veterinarians in your area, as well. You never know where a Good Samaritan might take your pet. The more people who know your pet is missing, the better.
Spread News of Your Missing Pet on Social Media
Post pictures of your pet, your pet’s name, date they went missing, geographic area and any other details to local social networks you may belong to, such as:
- Local Facebook Groups
- Mission Reunite
Ask your network to share your post with their friends, to reach even more people. Make sure your post has clear instructions for what to do if your pet is spotted or rescued.
Post Signs Around Your Area
Finally, this is a well-known and established step to finding a lost pet. Proper signage in the right places can really broaden your search. Mission Reunite has excellent advice on creating missing pet posters:
“Most lost pet flyers are printed on small pices of white paper and are not visible from the road. We call our posters 5+5+55, meaning 5 words that can be read in 5 seconds by someone driving 55 miles per hour. They key is to use few descriptive words and very large lettering. We recommend large neon poster board available from office or craft stores. A photo of the pet is optional — more important is a clear description.”
Video: What to Do if Your Pet is Lost
Watch the video: Help! What to Do if Your Pet is Lost
If your pet is lost, stay hopeful. Be diligent in following the steps to locate your pet. And if you have any questions, contact us.