It can be so heart-wrenching to find out your best furry friend is lost, and sometimes it’s hard to think clearly about what to do. Lists with clear directives can help. Here are some simple steps you can take when you find out your pet is missing.
1. Remember the nooks and crannies
Before you begin searching anywhere else, search your home thoroughly. It’s amazing what some animals can get stuck in, from old freezers to boxes to cabinets. Look inside closets, under beds, and in any storage area that your pet could reach. Be very quiet and listen for scratching, meowing, whining, or other sounds.
2. The local animal shelter
Check the website of your local animal shelter or humane association, pay them a visit, or call them. Someone may have brought your pet in. Leave your information with the shelter personnel, so they can call you if an animal matching your pet’s description comes in.
3. Make flyers
This time-honored means of creating awareness about a lost pet is still an important step and a good option. Print out pictures of your pet on your computer printer, or take a photograph of your pet and photocopy it. Then build your flyer around the picture.
Make sure it includes the pet’s name and description (since photos aren’t always clear, especially if you’re driving by), and is big enough to be read easily from several feet away. Post the flyers on telephone poles, public bulletin boards, and any other public area.
4. Internet sources
Did you know there is an “Amber Alert” for pets? There are specific websites dedicated to spreading the information about your pet as quickly as possible to as large a number of people as possible. You enter your pet’s information along with your contact information.
If you are on a social networking site such as Facebook or MySpace, post your missing pet’s picture in your status update, and let people know your pet is missing. You can also use Twitter to this effect.
5. Go on a search
This may seem obvious, but it’s sometimes hard to think when your pet is missing. Take as many people with you as possible, and search as wide an area as you can. If you have a pet dog still home with you, take him with you – maybe he can help find his friend.
6. Call your vet
Call your local veterinarian’s office and find out if anyone has brought your pet in. If your pet is injured, a kind-hearted person may have taken your pet to the veterinarian. Your vet’s office is also a good place to post fliers of your missing animal.