MY PET IS LOST – NOW WHAT?
First and foremost, if you want to find your lost pet – ACT FAST.
Whether you choose to hire Petsearchers Canada to help you in your search or go it alone, time is of the essence. This page provides some information on things you can do to help you find your lost cat or dog. PLEASE NOTE: Not every technique works in all cases and sometimes can be dangerous, as each case is different and each scenario demands different tactics, because of this we are reluctant to give some detailed advice because it could unintentionally put your pet in harms way.
HOW TO FIND YOUR LOST PET
Search close to home first, then do a quick foot search of the area.
• Call or visit your local Shelter/SPCA. We have a listing of the local Animal Control and SPCA’s on our website Check “Missing Pets in B.C.” facebook page and Craigslist’s Lost and found to see if your pet has already been located. Talk to neighbors, anyone out walking their dogs, stop anyone and everyone you see and MAKE SURE to tell them not to chase your pet, just to call you with sightings and direction of travel. The last thing you need is a neighbor frightening your missing cat or dog and scaring them farther away from home; this also includes the owner of pet, if your pet does not come up to you do not chase them as you could send them out of area and unintentionally into a more dangerous situation. Remember to hand out papers or business cards with your phone number so they know how to reach you right away if they see your pet.
• Place lost pet posters in the area. Petsearchers Canada offers a great Lost Pet posters package included in our search packages, or you can do it yourself – just avoid making standard letter size sheets if possible as they go virtually unnoticed and are destroyed by weather rapidly. All you need to say is lost Dog or lost Cat and put your phone number on the bottom of poster, include a clear large picture of your pet in middle of poster. Take the time and investment for proper extra large waterproof, full color, high impact posters.
• If your pet is micro-chipped or has a tag from a missing pet service or municipality, be sure to call and notify the company. Stay by the phone!! Petsearchers has encountered so many cases where owners received a tip on the answering machine at home during the day and missed the chance to find their lost pet when they get the message in the evening; use your cell phone number or a number where you can answer calls more quickly. If you plan to hire Petsearchers Canada to help you in your search, get your pets favorite toy, bed or something else that will have their scent and put it in a bag, we will discuss what items are best to use for scent articles. Some people recommend leaving food etc outside your door overnight. This possibly can work, but often can backfire; each case is unique and needs to be handled accordingly. What could happen is that your pet could come home during the night, have some food or stick around for a while and then leave, or as mentioned before, if they have turned semi-feral or in survival mode, they may bolt the moment they hear activity; you can also attract predators which obviously must be avoided, even raccoons will often deter your pet from returning home or possibly harm your pet. Now you could have a satiated but still scared pet running around and who might travel further away now that they have a full stomach and who is a lot less likely to be enticed to capture by food or treats.
WHAT NOT TO DO
• DON’T WAIT. This is the most important of all. Time matters. Your pet is encountering many dangers, travelling farther away from home or getting more scared/feral as time goes. Determine a plan of action and move quickly as your pets life is in jeopardy when away from home.
• DON’T get a huge crew of friends or volunteers out looking for your lost pet. In countless cases we have seen a pet scared farther away from their safe zone after “search parties” have been sent out and in some cases this has resulted in the death of lost pets or made the search more difficult, time consuming and expensive.
• DON’T put food out in many places for your pet to eat from. They are less likely to be cajoled close enough to be caught.
• DON’T include too much information in your missing pet posters. There are many scammers and frauds out there who may try to use this information to perpetrate some form of scam; and most of this extra information is irrelevant anyways to the capture of your pet.
• DON’T EVER GIVE UP. Petsearchers Canada has found many pets after days, weeks, even many months of being missing, but obviously your odds are much better for a quick successful outcome if you start the search as soon as possible. We are available to get working on your behalf to make this happen; don’t procrastinate or think that your pet is miraculously going to show up at your door step (it can happen but rarely.)