Losing a pet can be very traumatic for pet owners. It’s a big, sometimes dangerous world out there and pets can escape from the house or yard despite your best intentions. While heartwarming reunions do happen, the reverse is also a possibility too, in which the pet doesn’t survive or seemingly disappears, never to be seen again. But you can take action in the form of the steps below to increase the chances of getting your pet back. Your pet is counting on you to do all you can to find them!
What do you do first? Search around your house or where the pet escaped. Cats, in particular, often stay close to home and may be hunkering down in a hiding place, scared. Ask neighbors and place flyers around your neighborhood. If there is a sighting of your pet, you might consider leaving food out for them.
Second: go visit the shelter IN PERSON to see if your lost pet is there within a day or two. Do not just call and rely on giving a description. Shelter staff do their best, but shelters are often a busy environment, with phones manned by various volunteers and lots of activity. It can also be difficult to tell, say, one lost beagle from another. If your dog or cat is at the shelter and passes the stray hold period, then by law the shelter can legally adopt them out. If this happens, you may never know or see your pet again. Animal shelters in Phelps County, Missouri include Rolla Animal Shelter and Tri-County Humane Society (St. James).
Third, make flyers with photos and descriptions of your pet. If you need help with this, consider asking a friend or neighbor. Take these flyers to area shelters (which often have bulletin boards) plus other places nearby where your pet is missing as well as vet clinics.
Fourth, post a photo of your missing dog in online forums, such as Rollanet or Facebook. The Rolla Daily News will also run an ad for free. A photo is worth a thousand words and you never know who has seen your dog or cat and may be able to provide crucial information.
Finally, be sure to search the “Found” sections of Rollanet or the classifieds to see if anyone is advertising your dog as found.
As an added precaution before their pet goes missing, every pet owner should consider the following:
- An identification tag can ensure that your lost pet is quickly reunited with you.
- Microchips have also been responsible for some amazing reunions years later
- Have a current photo of your pet just in case.