Helpful tips for finding your lost pet

When a pet goes missing it is often an upsetting experience. The best way to recover your lost pet is to take quick action. Here are some tips that we hope will help you find your pet:

  1. Contact your local SPCA and vet. File a lost pet report with every shelter within a 20km radius of your home. To find your local SPCA search online or check your phone book. Provide these shelters with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet.
  2. Search the neighbourhood. Walk or drive through your neighbourhood. Ask neighbours, security guards, domestic workers and gardeners 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.
  3. Advertise. Post notices at grocery stores, community centres, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, at pet supply stores and other locations. Include your pet’s sex, age, size, breed, colour and any special markings. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it. If your pet does have a microchip don’t include the number on the poster, this is an easy way to verify if the person who claims to have found your pet (esp if there is a reward) has actually done so.
  4. Use social media. Join any local groups or pages for your town or area. These are good forums for posting about your missing pet.
  5. 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 deposit money for the return of your pet.
  6. Don’t give up your search. Animals that have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.

A pet – even an indoor pet – has a better chance of being returned if she always wears a collar and an ID tag with your name, address, and telephone number. Remember cats need special, easy release collars, but these can also easily be lost. Ask your local animal shelter or veterinarian about permanent methods of identification (such as microchips) instead.