9 steps to take if your ‘fur-ever’ friend goes missing

If your 'fur-ever' friend becomes lost, don’t delay your search! Here are some tips that can help bring your companion home safely.

Sandrina Rodrigues

Apr 25, 2023, 8:30 AM

Updated 88 days ago


When your cat or dog strays from home, it can be a traumatic experience for both of you.
If your 'fur-ever' friend becomes lost, don’t delay your search! Here are some tips that can help bring your companion home safely:

1. Act fast

Don’t waste days hoping your pet will come home. The sooner you begin your search, the better the odds of finding him or her.

2. Call for them

Call your pet’s name and check any places they could have become trapped, such as in basements or garages or under vehicles. A lost pet often will hide during the day, so be sure to go out again at night with a flashlight and call for them.

3. Scent is key

While your pets' favorite food could help them find their way back if they are hungry or scared, dirty laundry by the entryway has been known to be just as effective as your scent may help lure them.

4. Search the neighborhood

Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times each day. Ask neighbors, letter carriers and delivery people if they have seen your pet. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found.

5. Lost pet signs

Use your pet’s photo to make lost pet signs. Put them up in your neighborhood and in post offices, libraries, pet supply stores, veterinary offices, and grocery stores. Inform your veterinarian and groomer that your pet is lost in case they receive a call.

6. Don’t forget social media

Share photos and the description of your lost pet on social media. Look at neighborhood Facebook pages, sometimes neighbors will post photos of wandering pets found.

7. Contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies

File a lost pet report with shelters near your home, and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible. Many animals are difficult to describe over the phone, and only you really know what your pet looks like. If there is no shelter in your community, contact the local police department. Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photo of your pet. Notify the police if you believe your pet was stolen.

8. Be wary of pet-recovery scams

When talking to a stranger who claims to have found your pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really have your pet. Be particularly wary of people who insist that you give or wire them money for the return of your pet.

9. Don't give up your search

Animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners. Make sure your pet always wears a collar and an ID tag, or has a microchip.

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