How To Keep Your Pet From Being Lost Or Stolen!
Veterinarian Approved on March 10, 2010 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
We’ve all heard the terrible stories of our pet pals being lost or stolen, or more likely – yipyipyip! – hit by a car or a coyote. Losing a pet is like losing another family member, and can be devastating.
Many pet owners don’t think about the safety of their precious pups and kitties when they let them outside! All kinds of dangerous things can happen to them, from abduction to injury to death.
It would be best for pet if they never went outside unsupervised, but for most people that’s not an option. So here’s the rundown on how to keep you licking loved one outside, and out of danger!
To begin with, it’s important to know why your pet may stray from your home.
Cats and dogs don’t always “run away”. It’s true, we love to explore and sometimes this takes us around a new corner – but in general, we pets are very territorial. We defend our homes every way possible!
8 Reasons Why Pet Is Missing
1. Local animal control picked them up
2. Someone “rescued” your pet, thinking it needed help
3. Someone “adopted” your seemingly lost pet
4. Your cat crawled into a car and the car was driven away
5. (This one’s really terrible) Someone abducted your pet to abuse them, or sell them
6. Your neighbor wanted to get rid of your pet
7. Your animal was hit by a car and injured or killed
8. Your pet was injured in a car/dog fight, or by a wild animal
How To Find Your Pet!
Any of the above realities can fill you with fear and sadness, but no matter what – if your pet is missing you have to act fast! We can travel even when we’re injured, and chances are we could be hiding. If we’re still alive, we probably need your help right away. FOllow the steps on this checklist, to make sure you are thorough in your search:
- Start with your own home. We may be inside, hanging out in the closet or sleeping under something. Shake our food dish around – if we’re there, we’ll come running.
- Check your yard, under patios and in the garage. Again, we could be hiding.
- Grab a photo of your pet, and take a ride around your neighborhood. Ask if anyone has seen your pet recently.
- Make flyers and put them up everywhere businesses will let you. Go door to door. And offer a reward!
- If you suspect we’ve been stolen, call law enforcement right away. Make sure you have photos of us from many angles, so they can recognize us by our specific markings.
- Visit your local vet. Someone may have brought your pet in for treatment! You never know, there are angels out there.
- Look online for lost cat or dog forums, to see if anyone in your area has any news.
And don’t give up! I’ve heard amazing stories of dogs and cats showing up months after they’ve gone missing.
How To Prevent Your Pet From Going Missing
Finally, the best way to handle our disappearance is to never have to handle it at all. Preventing us from being lost or stolen is remarkably easy. Aside from keeping us indoors at all times (and by the way, most officials I know say that cats should always be kept inside), a responsible pet caregiver will do these things:
3 Simple Steps To Avoid A Lost Pet
Microchip! The smartest thing Dog gave Man, ever.
Safety Collar! Keep our id in plain view, so no one can ever suspect us of being a lost pet. And most people don’t have a device to read our microchip.
Missing your best friend, your beloved baby, is among the most tortuous experiences humans can have. Make sure that you are the most responsible caregiver, by taking the steps to ensure our safety!
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan