I have seen so many signs in our neighborhood for missing pets. It is a terrible feeling when your pet gets lost and you think of him or her out there wandering around not being able to get back home. There are many things you can do to prepare for the event before it happens and you will be so glad you did them. I recently heard a story of a cat that was returned to an owner after a 5 years absence because of the microchip implant. Here are some things you can do to help your pet make it home safely.
1. Get your dog or cat a collar and put all the information someone would need to contact you on it. If your phone number or address has changed make sure your pet's identification tag is changed to reflect that.
2. Put your phone number or numbers, plus your address on an identification tag that can't come off the collar. You can buy collars with the name and all the other important information embroidered directly on the collar.
3. Get a collar that fits - one your dog/cat can't slip off.
4. Check out having a microchip placed in your pet. The cost is about $40 for injecting the pet microchip identification and the registration fee to register with the national database is about $18. Humane societies may charge less for the injection. If you move or change phone numbers, let the microchip company know.
5. Have color photos that show your pet clearly.
If your pet does get lost, there are many things you can do to help find them quickly. Sitting around worrying makes you feel awful. So here are some actions you can take to help find your pet.
1. The more people you enlist in your search the quicker you will find your pet. While you are looking have a friend start calling shelters, humane societies, rescue groups and vet clinics. Later you can bring a flier with the animal's picture so they can post it.
2. Search by car and foot. Take a favorite squeaky toy and periodically squeeze it. A familiar toy noise may bring your pet out of hiding.
3. Make fliers and posters. Use large letters so that people sitting in their car can read your information and include a photo of your pet. Include phone numbers.
4. Place posters at street intersections, park entrances, dog parks and places where pedestrians or drivers may see them. Make sure you make them waterproof so rain or snow won't ruin them.
5. Post the fliers where people regularly visit on a weekly basis such as: grocery stores, coffee shops, and places of worship and pet stores. Make sure you ask if it is okay to post a flier. If you post without permission the fliers may be taken down.
6. Notify people who travel your neighborhood regularly such as postal workers and walkers.
7. Check online for sites that post lost and found animals.
8. Place an ad in your local paper in the lost and found section. Also, read the "found animal" entries daily.
If you take preventative measures, you will increase the likelihood of finding your pet tremendously. So give your pet the gift of a safe return home.