Your pet is a beloved member of the family. If they go missing, you need to find them as soon as possible. The first thing to do is remain calm. After that, follow our comprehensive guide to bring home your furry friend and keep them safe.
I think my pet is missing, what do I do next?
1. Start looking now
Every minute you wait increases your potential search area. Start with a search of the neighbourhood, paying special attention to your pet’s favourite spots. Take a recent picture of your pet with you so that you can let everyone know your pet has hit the road and enlist their help as you move through the area.
2. Stay near the phone
If your contact info is on your pet’s ID tag, make sure you or someone you trust is available at that number while your pet is missing. You don’t to miss a call from a concerned citizen letting you know they’ve found your pet.
3. Contact local shelters
Call your local shelters, vet clinics and even your local council to let them know your pet is missing and to give them a description and contact number. If your pet is gone overnight, visit the shelters daily if you can. It's also worth checking the Lost Pet Finders site for any leads, as well as posting your own notice for your missing pet.
4. Put a face on it
It’s easier for people to help you find your four-legged family member if they know what your pet looks like. Post a recent photo on social media, send it to local shelters, and plaster the immediate area with posters. Ask local business owners to post your flyer and try to get your posters in the hands of local delivery drivers, postal workers, and other people who travel your neighbourhood every day.
5. Don’t give up
Even if it’s been a few days, your pet can still be found. As long as you haven’t heard otherwise, keep up the search.
Pets from all over the country go missing every day and many are reunited with their families, so remember that there are plenty of other concerned pet lovers on your side. Check shelters regularly and make sure your neighbours and friends know you need their help.
Tips to prevent missing pets
Being reunited with your pet is wonderful. Use these tips to decrease the chances of losing them again.
- Puppy proof: Creating a safe environment for your new puppy or dog can go a long way in preventing any mishaps.
- Secure the perimeter: Make sure your balcony or backyard is escape-proof. Keep fences and gates in good repair, and regularly walk around to identify any evidence of digging. Add extra security with motion detectors and security monitors that can let you know via text or email if a gate has been opened or when your pet uses the doggie door.
- Use a tracking device: Microchips, collars, and ID tags are invaluable for helping others identify your pet if they’re found. If your pet regularly escapes the yard, a pet tracker will help you identify where they are so you can bring them home safely as quickly as possible.
Remember, your pet is going to make it home sooner if you stay calm and know what to do. Keep this guide handy just in case your pet makes a run for it.