Advice from the Experts
Over the years we’ve helped hundreds of people in the search for their lost pets. Along the way we have learned many tips and tricks that will help you in your search as well!
- Prevention is KEY. Here are a few Prevention Tips.
- Locks on all gates at all times
- Small pets kept inside or outside only with supervision
- Security Cameras with posted signs
- Limit home / yard access to approved visitors (meaning the gardener does not have access unless you are there, unlock the gate and let them in.)
- Create double door entrances (a screen door AND an inside door, or a front gate and a front door)
- Get to know your neighbors (make sure you give them your phone number and a picture of what your pet looks like.. Ask them if they ever see your pet out to call you right away.)
- Cats outside in enclosures only (like a porch or enclosure like a “cattery”)
- Keep ID tags on your pet at all times. Check out our recommendations here.
- Consider NOT “calling” for your pet. Being lost is a traumatic event. Just like a person, they can suffer from shock after an accident. Many pet owners depend on a well-trained dog’s recall to find the lost pet. Generally, this tactic is a waste of time. You shouldn’t depend on your pet’s recall – no matter how perfect. In addition, many people’s voices sound similar, especially from a distance.
- If your pet is microchipped, don’t count on that finding your pet. A microchip is a great line of defense in protecting a pet. It is not a guarantee. There are many problems with the process of getting a pet scanned for a microchip. First, we find that many people do not even know about microchips, or have a false idea about how microchips work. Second, people do not have the time or resources to get to a vet or shelter to scan the pet. Third, the microchip scanning equipment can be faulty, low on batteries or improperly used. Sometimes microchips will “migrate,” moving from between your pet’s shoulders to another area of their body where it is not usually scanned. Fourth, just because a microchip is located it doesn’t mean that the person with that information will use it correctly. They could decide not to contact the microchip company because they want to keep your pet! If your pet is microchipped, make sure it is REGISTERED and you notify the microchip company that your pet is missing.
- When checking shelter websites for pictures of lost and found pets, make sure to search for both male and female pets. Most shelters workers are overworked and underpaid. They work long hours at a job that can be emotionally devastating. They do the best they can, but pets can get overlooked. In addition, data entry errors are easy to make! Just think how easy it could be to mark a black dog as white, or a female dog as male! If you search in-person it also promotes awareness about your lost pet with the staff. In-person searches in combination with monitoring websites and online pictures is the best strategy.
- If you have tried all of the common sense tasks and still don’t have your pet back, consider a coaching session with us or even an in-person search. We have worked helping find lost pets for years and can provide encouragement, information, feedback and expertise.