Animals go missing from home quite often. It is usually cats that go missing the longest, generally because they go out on their own and you have no control over how far they travel. If you take your dog to a strange place, and then let if off the lead, it’s all too easy for it to go AWOL. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you have a fence that’s high enough to keep your dog in your garden; if it gets loose then you could find that your pet is missing.
Contact your local dog warden
It is a legal requirement to report a missing dog to the local dog warden, you should do this as soon as you can after the dog has gone missing. We would then advise you contact the database your microchip is registered with to repost your pet missing to them. Petlog the UK’s larges Database are able to send out an alert in a 30 mile radius to vets and animal centres if you are signed up to their premium service.
Canvass your local area
If you have a picture of your dog or cat then have it enlarged and printed out on a document that has the animals name and your telephone number. Take the leaflets round your local area, post through letter boxes and pin them to trees and lampposts. A friendly Samaritan may see one of the leaflets you post and return your pet safe and sound.
Call round your local vets
Get in touch with all of your local vets and ask if your pet has been handed in. If you have a rescue centre nearby give them a call too. Quite often a good natured stranger will scoop up a lonely looking animal and hand them in. However, not everyone will take your pet to the RSPCA or the local vets so you may still have to use other search methods.
Try Twitter or social media
You see the strangest things on Twitter and other social media. People do sometimes tweet about a lost pet. If you follow or are followed by people living in your local area, then putting a tweet out about your lost pet could yield a result. It is a sad fact that animals go missing every day, many of them are picked up by kindly strangers and eventually returned to their owners, but that’s not always the case, so take as many precautions as you can against the loss of your pet.
Get your pet chipped
Although it is a traumatic event, it’s important not to panic. Take a look around the local area as missing pets are often spotted quite close to home. There are other things you can do to ensure your pet’s safety. Making sure that your pet always wears a collar with a disc that has their name, telephone number and address on it is a good start.
Along with the collar and disc, it’s also a good idea to get your pet microchipped as soon as it is old enough – usually when they have their first lot of vaccinations. A microchip will inform vets, police or animal welfare officers who your pet belongs to and where it lives. If the pet is taken into the rescue centre, police station or local vet, they will be able to check whether the animal has a microchip or not and return it to you as soon as possible.