A horrible feeling washes over you as you realize that your beloved pet is not in the house, is he/she in the back yard? No? The feeling begins to build; you run around asking everyone in your home if they have the dog and realize the dog is GONE! Maybe the fence was not latched properly, maybe your dog learned how to escape or someone did not fully shut an entry door. Whatever the reason when you realize that your dog is truly missing and possibly out on his or her own in the big bad world, terror sets in! So what do you do? We have all seen those posters on the telephones poles or at the local market. A picture of someone’s lost dog or cat with a brief description, phone number and for the lucky ones a nice fat reward! But do these signs really help? They do!
The good news is the odds are very good that you will find your pet! PetFinder.com explains “some 40% of households have pets. People in those homes will respond favorably to a lost pet. More households do not have a pet but include someone who previously had a pet. Strong chance of positive response. More households again do not have a pet but do have children, who will be eager to take in a lost pet. That is a lot of eyes and ears. That is a lot of strangers who are on the side of finding and helping your pet return home.” If your dog was wearing a collar with an Id tag, you are in good shape; this is the first thing someone will look for if they find your pet.
Timing is still very important. The first step is to immediately walk the neighborhood and if you can; have someone begin to drive it as well and slowly broaden your search radius. “Most dogs are found within a two- mile circle of their home, especially because they normally will never run for an extended length in a straight line no matter how strong or fast they are” according to Pet Finder.com . Call your pets name in a clear, calm & happy tone (it is important to try to mask any anxiety or tension from your voice as you do not want your pet to worry he/she may be in trouble and then hide or continue to run away!). If your pet has a favorite treat bring that with you and rustle the bag or package, this is a noise they know well and will come running towards! Also check with your neighbors to see if they may have seen your pet, even if they have not this will make them aware that your pet is missing so that they can help you to find him/her. The more people that are aware the better your chances of getting your pet safely home to you.
If you do not locate your pet on your first neighborhood sweep do not panic. Your next step should be calling your local shelter and reporting your pet missing. Next call your local veterinarian and various pet shops to see if they have received a call from someone who may have found your pet. Now it is time is to create one of those “LOST” signs we mentioned earlier. These signs are truly a significant tool to help you find your pet. It is important to make sure to include a photo of your pet, a contact telephone number and to put the words REWARD in bold print. Make your sign stand out; bright, bold letters clearly written on a sign with a color photo will get the best results! Place the signs around your neighborhood, at popular intersections, at stop signs, schools, grocery stores, local shops and of course at your veterinarian’s office. You even want to include vets and pet shops in other nearby towns. You have now increased the number of people looking for your pet exponentially.
Finally, get on the internet! With social media what it is today you can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and many many more sites to broadcast that your pet is missing. Start a blog, get the word out. You will be surprised at the results you will get, people WANT to help!
Now it is time to simply wait it out, and try to remain calm; most likely you will receive a call in 24-72 hours that you’re pet has been found.