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Things To Do When Your Pet Goes Missing

Learn what to do if your dog/cat/pet goes missing.

Thousands of pets go missing daily. Here are some tips on what to do in case your beloved pet goes missing. 

Things to Do Before Pets Go Missing

  • Purchase a microchip. - Pet collars are made for quick release in case a pet gets stuck someplace. It's a safety feature. If a collar pops off or the pet doesn't have a collar the pet will always have identification on them. Any veterinarian, shelter, rescue, or animal control can scan for a microchip. In most states, this also identifies "property" when there is an owner dispute, meaning two different people try to claim the pet. 
  • Purchase a pet ID tag. - Pet tags are recommended to be placed on pet collars. You should include dogs name and a way to contact you. 

There are several different types available. They can be purchased in machines at pet stores and some retail stores, such as Walmart. You can also purchase them at most vet clinics and even online.

What to Do If Your Pet Goes Missing

  1. Make a lot of posts on your social media site (make sure it's an open post for people to share).
  2. Post a Lost post on Craigs list in your local area's lost and found.
  3. Post on Social media lost and found sites. Most major areas will have a lost and found pet site on social media such as Facebook.
  4. Make posters and flyers to post at local veterinarians, post offices, and local businesses. Make sure to check with business management and code enforcement before posting signs on private and government property.
  5. Always file a lost animal report with your local animal control and Shelter.
  6. Don't rely on phone conversations with staff. Animals are constantly going into shelters. Physically go look at all shelters in the area. Remember you may call the dog some type of breed but someone else might see some other type of breed. This is especially true with mixed breeds and mutts.
  7. Take out an article in the local paper. Believe it or not, people still read the paper, especially Seniors and a select few who don't use the internet. It may be a good idea if the pet is missing for a few days to attempt this approach.
  8. See if any of your local radio stations have a "Pet Patrol" for lost and found pets.
  9. Knock and talk. Knock on neighboring residence around the area the pet went missing.

Bottom line: The first 24-48 hours are important. Get the word out immediately. Anything you can do to get the word out of the beloved missing pet, do. Always follow up with any possible leads. Visit Shelters often. If your pet ends up in a shelter, time might be limited depending on the shelter/pound/impound facility. If you find out your pet is at a shelter, make sure to claim immediately. Their life could be depending on your quick response. 

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