Every year, hundreds of pet owners find themselves helpless after the escape or disappearance of their dog or cat. If your animal disappears for any reason, there are a number of ways to facilitate a happy ending. Here are a few steps to follow:
Don't give in to panic
While this experience is no doubt stressful, it's likely even more stressful for your companion, who finds himself suddenly alone and lost, or with strangers he's never seen. It's important to remain calm with a clear head to avoid any hasty decisions.
Check out all the familiar places in the area
Disoriented, your animal will likely try and find a familiar place. Maybe a park, a daily walking path, or at the home of neighbor he knows. In the majority of cases, he can rapidly be found thanks to a careful search.
If this is unsuccessful, don't hesitate to knock on neighbors' doors to ask if they saw anything.
Take advantage of the calm of night to call for them
Source: Pinterest/Redheaded Ninja
At night, noises are less frequent and less present, and your pet will have an easier time hearing your voice if you call or make a familiar noise. Don't hesitate to visit the same familiar places you've already checked and call his name, or shake a box of treats or his favorite toy.
His highly developed hearing will allow him to hear these noises from further away.
Contact local shelters and veterinarians
If your animal is microchipped, he could be identified by a veterinarian, so make sure your information is updated, and they can contact you. Rescues and shelters regularly receive animals who are lost or in danger.
By calling your local shelter, the volunteers will be able to contact you if they have any animals similar to yours. You can use the site Helping Lost Pets to report the disappearance of an animal, and check the database to see if anyone has found him.
Post an alert on social media
Source: Pet Alert France
These days, social media has become the best way to spread a message to the largest group of people. While certain pages like the Pet Alert Community are specialized in the search of lost animals or their owners, including a number of local pages.
Alternatively, it is still possible to post flyers in highly trafficked places in the neighborhood or city.
To avoid a disaster, consider microchipping or tattooing your pet
Source: Clinique Vétérinaire Akkolytes
Microchipping has been required in the U.K. since 2016 for dogs older than eight weeks. In the United States, the laws vary by state, but there is no nationwide regulation.
The National Dog Registry is the oldest of its kind and relies on tattoos to identify the animals. While this may seem shocking, the dogs are under sedation and it is less invasive than microchipping, although not as technologically advanced.
Even if not required, identification of some sort will increase your chances of finding your animals by 40% according to a study by TNS/Sofres, conduced in 2016.
(Cover Image Source: John Huang)
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