What should you do if your pet runs away?
When you love your pets and supply all of their needs, it’s hard to imagine that they might run away. It happens with cats and dogs. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of curiosity. Just like you, your pet wants to know about the world outside the front gate. They might also run away because they’re frightened or anxious about circumstances or people that you might not even notice.
The reason for your pet’s departure doesn’t matter. You just want them to come back home. Here are a few things you can do to make that happen.
Traditional search methods
One of your first contacts should be the Hebron Animal Control officer. His department investigates wandering animals. If someone reported your pet, the office may have information. If your pet is found wandering, it’s the Control Officer’s job to handle the matter in compliance with Chapter 435 of Connecticut General Statutes. These statutes provide options for protecting both your dog and the public.
You can also post flyers in your neighborhood, talk to local residents, and place ads in your local newspaper. Most local media use hard copy and online classifieds, and some offer free “found” ads. These methods still work and kids can help.
You can share your pet’s photo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media networks. Ask your contacts to share your request with their friends. Social media sharing is free. It can reach a much wider network of people than you can reach on your own.
You can also connect with lost pet Facebook groups such as Missing Pets USA or Lost and Found Pets of Connecticut. These and other groups allow you to post your pet’s photo and information on their page. You can ask members to join in your search and share your post with their friends.
Pet “Amber Alert” services
Paid services such as FindToto use technology to send out a lost pet “Amber Alert.” When you report your lost pet, they access telephone and social media data and notify people within a selected geographical range.
Their system makes robocalls to numbers in your area and leaves a message about you and your lost pet. FindToto claims to have located over 10,000 pets.
Preparation is the key
You can’t predict when or if your pets will run away. Fortunately, technological advances increase your chances of locating them if they do. Microchip implant services such as those offered by Home Again place a small permanent chip beneath your pet’s skin. Pet scanners read the identification information when your pet is taken to a shelter or one of 50,000 organizations nationwide with the scanning equipment.
Pet tracking devices are a less invasive monitoring option. You purchase a wearable device such as Paw Tracker or a smart collar such as Link. These devices use GPS tracking and a mobile app to locate your dog. These and other digital services charge an initial purchase price for the device. Some also charge a monthly monitoring fee.
If you aren’t comfortable with digital pet-tracking devices, you should make sure your dog wears proper identification. Purchase dog and cat collar identification tags imprinted with your name and contact information. Make sure they’re securely attached to your pet’s collar. Be sure to have an updated photo of your pet for lost pet photos.
For more ideas about finding your lost pet, contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital at (860) 228-4324.