The ASPCA estimates that one in five pets goes missing after being scared by loud noises such as fireworks and thunderstorms. The first line of defense in finding your lost pet is to always have a collar and current tags as well as microchip the pet. The ‘I gave a bath and didn’t get the collar back on’ is no excuse—leave the collar on while bathing and clean it, too. Rather than imprinting the dog’s name on the tag, put ‘Reward for Return, Needs Medication’ along with at least one current phone number. (It is better if a thief cannot call your pet by name.) Additional steps:
Search immediately and post fliers with a picture, your phone number, and a reward if you’re able to offer one. Give a good description of your pet but hold back at least one identifying characteristic that you can use to verify whether a person responding to the flier actually has your dog.
Post your fliers in the area where your dog was last seen, in grocery stores, community centers, vet offices, animal shelters, mailbox clusters—anywhere it will be noticed by lots of people in your neighborhood or community.
Visit your local animal shelters daily. A stray hold in Maricopa County is only three days.
Make sure the veterinary clinics close by receive the information as finders will take pets to the closest vet.
Walk and drive your neighborhood area where your pet was last seen as often as possible; recruit friends and family also. Pass out flyers and talk to neighbors and passers by.
Place ads in newspapers and online at sites such as Missing Pet Network, Petfinder, FindFido.com, Center for Lost Pets, and Craigslist. If you receive a call from someone who says he has your pet, be cautious. Have the caller describe your pet in detail so you are sure it is your dog.
Do online searches for animals fitting your pet’s description. It’s possible someone has your dog or cat and is trying to sell him.
Don’t give up your search too quickly and be aggressive.
Do not overlook the owls, coyotes, and thieves. Make sure your fence is secure and your gate is locked. Never leave your dog outside while you are away from home. Never allow your pet to roam free around the neighborhood or be off leash. Never leave your pet tied up outside unsupervised in your yard, at the local coffee shop, or anywhere else. It takes only seconds for a thief to untie or cut the leash and walk away with her. Do not leave your pet in a car, locked or not! Ever!
Call Rover’s Rest Stop at 480-600-2828 or check out our new calendar at www.RoversRestStop.com.