What to do if you lose a pet

Posted on: Monday, April 30th, 2012

Losing a pet is one of the worst experiences a pet owner can have. The panic of realizing your pet is missing, can be totally overwhelming. To help you find your lost pet, should you find yourself in this dreaded situation, we have put together this list of pet finding tips…

Lost Dog Flyer

This "lost" sign is very easy to read, but could be more effective with an image.

1. Be sure your pet has proper identification

The best way to see that your lost pet is returned to you is to ensure they are wearing a proper identification tag. While the style of tags and the amount of information on them may vary, the most important things to include are your pet’s name, and your telephone number. This will assure you that anyone who finds your pet will be able to contact you easily.

2. Search the neighborhood your pet was lost in

Get as many friends as you can to help you canvas your neighborhood for your lost pet. Be sure to talk to anyone you see on the street and ask them if they’ve seen your pet. Be prepared to give your phone number to any of your neighbors who wish to help.

If your pet has a favorite treat or squeaky toy, bring it with to help if you need to lure your pet out from potential hiding spots. Pets can often be overwhelmed and scared to be out of their usual environment. Anything you can do to make them feel comfortable and safe in returning to you helps. If it’s a lost dog, make sure to bring a leash and collar just in case his were lost. If it’s a cat, make sure to keep a carrier somewhere close by to transport your cat safely back home.

3. Let your neighborhood know of your lost pet

Contact any neighbors you know and let them know of your lost pet, and the best way to contact you if the pet is found. Post flyers around the neighborhood, and at any local businesses that have bulletin boards. On the flyer, be sure to have the words “LOST DOG” or “LOST CAT” in large letters. Include a description of your lost pet, where the pet was last seen, and add your contact information. Distribute your flyers within a 5 block radius from where your pet was lost.

4. Visit local animal shelters

The animal shelters in philadelpia are the PSPCA, ACCT, and Morris Animal Refuge. When visiting them, be sure to bring along copies of your flyer. It will have all the basic information they need to see if your pet has been found, and can be left behind for others to see. Contact the Penn Veterinary Hospital to make sure your pet wasn’t injured and brought there for care. Follow up with these groups regularly, remember your pet could be found at any time!

5. Post about your missing pet on the internet

Almost everyone these days is involved in a social network or two. Be sure to post to any local networks you have available. Facebook, Craigslist, Petfinder, and area forums like West Philly Local, are all great ways to reach out and let people know your pet is missing. Include a digital version of your flyer, or copy the information from it into your post. Encourage your friends to repost the flyer and/or information.

6. Don’t Lose Hope

Pets can still be found months after they’ve gone missing. Persistence is key to finding your lost pet. Keep putting the word out, and don’t lose hope if the search wears on. Remember, your pet could be found at any time!

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