By Donna Velardi
When our pet goes missing or lost, we panic. We feel dread and imagine every worst-case scenario that could have happened or is going to happen. If we take the following steps, our rate of success in locating our pets will dramatically increase.
- We need to keep an open and clear mind – This will keep you thinking straight and clearly.- Don’t Panic – If your pet is missing (when missing, your pet knows where they are and how to get home) as opposed to lost (lost is when they don’t know where they are or are unable to come home) if you call them in a panicked voice they may not respond to you as this is not the “voice” they are used to. So try to remain calm and call your pet in a “normal” calm voice.
- Start your search immediately – don’t wait. The sooner you start your search the more successful you will be in locating your pet quickly.
- Search your home immediately (especially for cats) – Look under and behind items such as washing machines, reclining chairs, sofas and behind the fabric of all the furniture. Also, check drop down ceilings and other small places that make great hiding places for small pets.
- Walk your neighborhood – leave flyers with your pet’s photo and pertinent information. Leave flyers in all mail boxes. Post flyers on trees, polls, etc., and put them in a plastic covering as to protect them from the weather elements. Also, place in grocery stores and offices. Leave flyers within at least a 1 mile radius of your where your pet went missing.
- Talk to as many people as possible – Actual contact with people is best as people respond and will be more helpful when they have personal contact.
- When searching – bring a powerful flashlight with you so you can look in dark places.
- Call all local animal shelters and visit them to see if your pet was brought there – It has been the experience of some that when a phone call is made accurate information is not always given, that is why a personal visit is better.
- Place an ad in all local newspapers – get the information out to as many people as possible.
- Don’t be afraid to consult with an animal communicator – They sometimes can give some detail as to the location of your pet. Please inquire about fees and don’t be taken advantage of. The cost should not be that much more than their normal hourly fee and should include follow up calls from you.
- Keep the faith – if you don’t find your pet within a week or two, do not give up. Sometimes it can take weeks or even months to be reunited with your pet. Did you ever wonder where all those pets in shelters came from? Some are lost pets whose caregivers gave up on them.
- Follow your intuition – if you are connected and bonded with your pet, follow what you feel. You will be amazed at what you find.
- Don’t be taken advantage of by scam artists – There are people out there who prey on vulnerable people. They charge large amounts of money to tell you what to put on a flyer and where you should post them. If you chose to contact a pet detective or an animal communicator, they should be reputable people, ask what their success rate is and ask for references. Also, their fee should be reasonable.
What you should include in your flyer:
- Recent photo of your pet
- Pet’s name
- Your first name and phone number (a cell phone is best as it protects your privacy and you can always carry it with you)
- Description of your pet and any unusual markings
A great website for missing cats is www.catsinthebag.org. They give wonderful insights into the mind of a cat when they are lost. They explain the difference in the mindsets between an indoor cat and an outdoor cat. This site has a lot of information on locating missing pets.
If you have any questions on missing or lost pets you can contact Donna Velardi at 203-387-9738 (ZPET) or email at [email protected]