This time of year is a time to celebrate with friends, family, and fireworks! Even though this time can be exciting and fun for us, some animals get lost and confused with all the excitement and noise. If your pets get lost, or if you find a lost pet, below are some things you can do to either find them, or help them be found.
If your pet gets lost:
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advise putting a collar on your pet at all times with an ID tag with your name, phone number, and any relevant contact information on it. If your pet is microchipped, make sure your information is current. If you have changed your address or gotten a new phone number recently, make sure you update their chip as soon as possible.
If your pet has gotten out and you have not been contacted, reach out to as many people as you can. There is a chance your neighbors or friends might have seen them wondering around. Also, be sure to check any place they might be hiding, like under the bed or in a dark place, in case they are hiding or sleeping. Shaking food and treats might help lure them out if that is the case.
If they are not hiding and you are still not able to call them out, take a slow ride or walk around the neighborhood, maybe on a route they normally take during walks with you. While you are searching your neighborhood, call your local animal control agency, veterinary hospitals, and shelters to see if someone might have taken your pet there.
If still missing, place fliers around the neighborhood with a bold title to get attention. Add specific information about your pet as well as two contact numbers, in case someone isn’t able to reach you through the first number. Lastly, put up your pet’s picture on your social media. There are typically neighborhood Facebook pages of some kind available where you can contact the administrators about posting information about your missing pet. This way, more people are aware and might be able to recognize your pet.
If you find a lost animal:
American Humane recommends you try to capture and contain the animal if there is no danger in approaching them. Proceed slowly and cautiously and speak gently to them so they feel safe. Temporarily contain the animals until a more permanent solution becomes available. Dogs should be contained in a fenced yard or leash while cats will do better inside a cat carrier or secure box with holes in it for breathing. You could also place them in a small room in your home where they are secure until someone is able to pick them up.
If the animal is aggressive, do not attempt to contain them. If this is the case, call your local animal control or police department with details of the animal so they can professionally and safely handle the situation.
If you do contain a lost pet, check for a collar or an ID tag. If none are present, take them to your local animal shelter or contact animal control to pick them up and check for microchips.
Lastly, take a picture of the animal and post it on social media and create fliers to put around the area. Someone might be able to recognize the animal and help find the owner so they can be reunited.
This is a wonderful time of year where we get to celebrate and be with the ones we love, including our furry friends. In the event that a pet does get lost or found, we hope these tips will help so all animals can be reunited with their families.