Steps to Finding Your Missing Pet

Sep 15, 2016 Shambhavi

Those of us who have had the pleasure of living with animals know how uplifting and calming their presence can be. Having them wake us up in the morning with a nose lick, greet us excitedly when we come home from work, listen to us talk with the most supportive yet bemused expression on their faces- everything about them is beautifully integrated into our lives. So one day, by some freak chance, if our beloved pet goes missing, our whole world turns upside down.

Here are some important things you should do AS SOON as you find out your pet is missing:

  1. Thoroughly scout the area your pet was last seen in. Show people photographs and ask if they have seen him/her anywhere in the area.
  2. If there is a market place nearby, ask shopkeepers, fruit and vegetable vendors as well as meat shops if any. Leave your contact information with all of them and ask them to call if they spot the missing pet or anything related.
  3. File an FIR (First Incident Report) at your nearest Police Station giving detailed description of your pet- name, age, color, breed, temperament, color of collar and where he was last seen, along with a photograph.
  4. Pick a good, clear and distinct photograph of your pet to make a flyer, with all relevant details, which are:
    • Clear and large “LOST DOG” written above the photograph,
    • Pet’s name,
    • Your address and contact number
    • Where he/she was last seen
    • Date and time since when he/she has been missing
    • Reward for returning (optional)

Missing Pet Poster

Post this template across all social media platforms- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. and send emails to everyone in your contact list. Share with Animal welfare and support groups online since you will then have the help of all animal lovers near you. Ask all family members, friends and acquaintances to share these details on social media with everyone they know as well.

5. Get printouts of the same flyer and post them, first within a 5km radius while you go searching for your pet and further on. Do remember to cover community centers, markets and parks leaving flyers, asking people to keep a look out and spread the word.

6. Speak to the guards of all neighboring colonies and leave a few flyers with them, asking them to call if they notice anything relevant. Similarly request your postman to circulate them along with the mail on his entire route.

7. Post an advertisement in the newspapers. You can use the same flyer template as you have used for social media. Get it published in multiple newspapers and in all languages native to the area so that it reaches a bigger group of people.

8. Contact Animal NGOs in your city and ask if any animal fitting the description of your pet has been left at their shelter. Visit them to check their shelters and confirm in person that they are not there. Leave a few flyers with them so that they can identify the pet and contact you in case they receive the animal later.

9. Don’t assume your pet would have gone far away, but also don’t assume he/she will be close by. When faced with a difficult situation, all animals react differently. Some may run further in fear, others may find a safe place to hide and wait for you to come find them. Look everywhere you can.

10. If your pet is familiar with the sound of a particular squeaky toy or the rattle of a chew-stick box, carry it with you when you go on your search, using it to make a noise while you are calling out their name. This may make it easier for them to recognize you from a distance.

11. Be strong and composed. Despite it being an extremely tough experience for you, it is more important to clearly get the message across to each person you speak to. Take a deep breath and center yourself, focusing on the task at hand.

12. Always BE POSITIVE. Do not give up the search too soon, sometimes pets are found after many days, even weeks or months. Have faith that by taking all the measures to spread the word, you will surely be reunited with your loving companion.

About Us

STRAW (Stray Relief and Animal Welfare) India is a registered nonprofit /non-government organization and its focus is summed up in its motto, Animal Welfare through Education. It promotes empathy and compassion for all living beings and care for the environment by educating young people through its humane education programs and workshops.

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