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How to get your pet back home

No one wants to think about it or think it will happen to them but sadly 1 in 3 pets will get lost during their lifetime. An estimated 10 million pets get lost every year. Approximately, 7.6 million of those pets end up in an animal shelter but only 26% of them get reunited with their owners. But there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of a happy reunion.

  1. Microchipping. A microchip is a small, electronic chip that is the size of a grain of rice that is implanted just under the skin between the shoulder blades that has a unique number. This number should be registered with the microchip company and kept up to date with your current contact information.
  2. Collar with tags. Having a collar with tags is a visual aid for people who may find your pet. Make sure the tags are kept up to date with your current contact information and that the tags are legible.
  3. Make and keep a pet report flyer. Make sure it is kept in a handy location. This will be helpful if your pet does go missing – you will be able to quickly grab the flyer and place them throughout your neighborhood. Make sure to hang flyers at local business, your vet hospital and at your local animal shelters, humane societies and rescues. These forms should have: complete description of your pet, microchip number, collar/tags it is wearing, your current contact information, your vet’s contact information and 3 current HD-quality photos of your pet. I like to make sure the flyers for my pets has a view of each side and a front view because I know each of my pets look different but when I have visitors come to the house; they can’t tell the difference between my orange tabby with white and my red tabby with very little white.  Having photos with your flyer will help strangers when they see your flyer. One way I remember to update photos on my pet’s flyer is on the day I adopted them, I take new photos and add them to it that day. Below are lost dog and lost cat template for you to use.

LOST DOG        LOST CAT

If the unthinkable happens and your pet does go missing, besides from handing out flyers, here is a list of actions to take:
  • If your pet is spayed or neutered, they are likely still close to home. Check with neighbors to see if they have seen your pet. If your indoor only cat has accidentally gotten out, make sure to check under your deck, shed or any other small dark location around your property.
  • Contact your veterinary hospital.
  • Contact your local animal shelter, humane society and rescue organizations.
  • There are a few places on social media sites like Bring Home Athena on Facebook that are dedicated to help spread the word of local lost pets.
  • Check online sites like craigslist and with your local newspaper.

They also make GPS collars but they only work if the collar’s battery is charged and no one takes the collar off.

Having a plan in place before an incident happens will save time and help to keep you calmer if your beloved pet goes missing.

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