What To Do If Your Pet Is Missing
Many of us think of our pets as being our own children – albeit slightly scalier, furrier or more feathered! Since we have so much love and compassion for our creatures, it can be heart-breaking and devastating if our beloved animal goes missing. While most of us take every precaution possible, research by the American Humane Society shows that one in three pets becomes lost or stolen during their lifetime.
If a pet goes missing, feeling out of control and panicking are completely normal emotions. However, by remaining calm and knowing exactly what you should do can significantly improve the chances of you being reunited with your much-loved animal.
So, what should you do if your pet is missing?
Let your microchipping provider know
Microchipping is the single most reliable method of identifying the owner of any pet that is found or recovered after beings stolen. Each microchip, which is about the same size as a grain of rice, is given a unique ID number and implanted under your pet’s skin. The chip remains dormant until it comes into contact with an RFID scanner, something that virtually all veterinarians and shelters have. They can then scan the animal’s chip and download the unique ID and the name of which provider it belongs to. This ID correlates to a secured database entry containing your personal details.
If your pet goes missing and has a microchip, contact your chip provider immediately to let them know that your animal is lost. In doing so, the provider knows to alert you immediately should the chip be activated, and your data be accessed.
Contact local veterinary offices and shelters
The first phone calls you should make should be to local vets and shelters to see if anyone has found your pet and brought her in. This tends to be what happens if an animal is found and the finder doesn’t know who the owner is. If you have a dog that is missing, speak to your local warden or pound.
Ask around the local area if anyone has seen her
In most instances, missing animals don’t tend to venture too far from home. Chances are that one of your neighbors has seen your pet, even if they didn’t realize that she was missing at the time. Make sure that you go armed with a recent photograph of your pet as this works way better than a description. If you can find a photo that contains you as the subject as well as your pet even better as this will go a long way to resolving any potential disputes about ownership.
Ask your neighbors to check their outbuildings and cellars, lofts etc. Sometimes animals wander off and become trapped when their entry point suddenly closes.
Make posters and share them around the neighborhood
If you don’t locate your pet in the first 24 hours, it is always a good idea to put posters up around your local area (but first check that this is allowed and not considered littering!). Use a clear, up-to-date photograph of your pet, describe any distinguishing features and include any important information about them such as not to handle her because she is nervous. Don’t forget to include your cell phone number, plus a back-up contact should you be otherwise engaged if someone calls.
If you would like further advice on what to do if your pet goes missing, contact us and seek advice from our knowledgeable veterinary team.