Nearly one in five lost pets goes missing after being scared by the sound of fireworks, thunderstorms or other loud noises, according to a survey by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. And, while losing your pet can be a traumatic experience for both you and your pet, have hope as 93 percent of dogs and 75 percent of cats reported lost are returned safely to their homes, according to another survey.
If you do lose your pet, here are 10 top tips to help reunite you with your furry friend as quickly as possible:
- File a lost pet report with every shelter and animal control office within a 60-mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible.
- Get the word out to all veterinarians in the area. Sometimes people pick up a stray and drive it to a distant clinic.
- Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times each day. Enlist friends and family to help. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and your contact information.
- Speak with your neighbors. The more people know you have lost a pet and that you are desperately trying to find your pet, the more people will call you if they see a loose animal.
- Place flyers in the neighborhood and public places. To avoid scams, when describing your pet, leave out one characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.
- Post about your pet on all pet recovery web-sites and services. Sites such as Craigslist.org, TheCenterForLostPets.com and FidoFinder.com broadcast your missing pet quickly.
- Consider a lost pet recovery service. There are numerous lost pet alert services that will contact homes, veterinarians, shelters and animal control organizations for a reasonable fee.
- Place food and water outside your home. Your pets may return to your home when they get hungry or thirsty. Consider placing food in a humane pet trap to capture them.
- Tell everyone you see about your pet and ask them to keep their eyes open. The more people you alert, the greater the chance someone will recollect seeing your pet in their area.
- Don’t give up. Be aggressive in your search, get lots of help and get the word out right away. You need those early hours to put up posters and start your search.