I think everyone can relate to the sinking feeling you get when you discover your beloved furry family member is missing. Panic sets in and you quickly find yourself turning in circles trying to find which direction to search first! April 23 is “National Lost Dog Awareness Day” — a time to evaluate and make sure you are prepared should you ever find your beloved pet missing.
Make it easy for your pet to get returned to you with these tips:
Take a good, clear picture of your pet often to have on hand should you need it for identification. No doubt your pet (and you) will be over-the-moon when you are reunited, however many shelters (and even finders) will want proof that the found pet is indeed yours. Pictures also will be handy for sharing on social media sites to ask others to be on the lookout.
Current ID tags and collars are a MUST. It is super easy to just look at a tag and call a number to get Fido back home. Make sure the information on your pet’s tag is current and legible. Sometimes it helps to print on both sides of the tags so that the print can be larger. If your pet has special medical needs you might want to put a notification on the tag to alert the finder, or maybe even have a second tag for this information.
Microchipping is another awesome way more pet owners are being reunited with their pets. Keeping information current on the microchip register will speed recovery so make it a point to double check all information annually (at the time of your pet’s annual checkup) to be sure all information included is current. Pets that have gone missing have even been reunited years later with their former families after appearing in shelters and being scanned for a chip — we have seen so many miracles like this one.
Last week we experienced 2 scares with pets that belong to my family and friends. One of the very first things we did was go out on foot looking for the missing dogs. And certainly going out and physically looking never hurts — however, there are so many things you can do to help facilitate the return of your pet fast. Here are a few things that we have found extremely helpful in locating a lost pet.
PawBoost.com — this is an awesome site that sends out an email (with picture included) to local vets, shelters and “PawBoosters” in the area of your lost pet so that everyone can be on the lookout. They also post to social media with an alert that can be crossposted to your own Facebook page to encourage your friends to share. This happened to be how one of the 2 pets I referenced above was found quickly. Within 3 minutes of the PawBoost Alert we received a “found” call in response to our alert and were reunited with our missing family member immediately.
Lost and Found Pet Pages on Facebook — most locations now have a Lost and Found Pet page that helps facilitate getting the word out about your missing pet. Share a recent picture with identifying details and be sure to include your contact information should the finder come across this post!
Nextdoor.com — this is a national community posting site where you can post a lost/found notice for your pet and it is instantly seen by neighborhoods near yours. It is another great way to get the word out and have people keeping an eye out for your beloved furry friend!
Don’t forget the age-old methods of neighborhood posters, newspaper lost/found, craigslist and scouring local shelters. All of these should be used methods too! Daily pet families are reunited with beloved pets at local shelters so be sure to check your shelter (and even take them a poster).
There is certainly no fear like that when you discover your beloved pet is missing but being prepared can lessen the frantic moments and help facilitate a fast return from the unexpected adventure.