It’s every pet owners’ nightmare….Fido or Fluffy gets out of the safe confines of your home or leash, and is gone in a flash! There are a million scenarios in which this frightening outcome plays out, I’ve heard and seen them many times. No matter how it happened or who is at fault, try not to panic or play the blame game. Instead, take a deep breath, and explore the following tips to get your pet back asap.
1. Take his favorite treats or can of tuna to any places you last saw him or think he may be hanging out. Cats stuck up in a tree have been known to come down for tuna or the sound of a cat food can opening.
2. If your pet is wearing a microchip, make sure the info is updated with your current address and phone number. If you let it lapse, you may have to pay a fee to update it.
3. If you aren’t on nextdoor.com, start an account & post right away. Post a picture of your pet and description, date and time he went missing and your name and cell phone number. You’d be amazed at how many pet lovers live in your neighborhood, maybe even on your street, and would be willing to help you look for your pet. They may have been in your shoes and have free time, you never know. Also, it doesn’t hurt to offer cookies and hot cocoa after search parties are done. Yet another reason to be neighborly…you never know when you might need help. While you’re online, also post on all your social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
4. Make fliers (easy to do on PawBoost.com, or on your computer) with all pertinent info described above and post on all stop signs and parks around your home. Basically, anywhere your pet is likely to have gone. Make signs large enough to read while driving by.
5. Download the Finding Rover app. Upload your pet’s picture and post that he is lost.
6. Also post missing pet info on MyLostPetAlert.com and PawBoost.com, where you can also make fliers. These sites send email and posts out to neighbors.
7. Contact all local shelters (best to bring in a flier, as many have a binder of lost pets in their lobby). The ones in San Diego North County are:
Rancho Coastal Humane Society, 389 Requeza St., Encinitas, 92024
County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, 2481 Palomar Airport rd., Carlsbad
Helen Woodward animal Center, 6461 El apajo Rd., Rancho Santa Fe
8. Take the same fliers to pet stores, local vets, groomers, etc. Many will be happy to post them on their window or front of store.
Then all you can do is look, look, look, call your pet’s name and, if you are inclined, pray. Leave food and water outside your door. With any luck, your pet will be home safe and sound again. Good luck!