Obviously the most important thing you can do for your pets is to make sure they all have a PERMANENT method of identification. Collars and tags can fall off or be removed, but microchip identification is the absolute best way to make sure the people that find your pet are able to contact you and let you know they are safe and sound. Tattoos are good too, but can fade or develop hazy edges over time and become difficult to read. Microchips are inexpensive, safe, permanent, and are really easy to update if/when your contact information changes over time.
Here’s some things that should be done to increase the odds of your furry baby making it home to your family:
- Make sure your contact information is up to date for your pet’s microchip, especially a good phone number.
- Call and/or visit the local shelters in your area, and do it frequently. The incredible folks that work at the shelter intake cannot possibly remember every call that comes in about a lost pet, so the best bet for you is to contact them frequently to ask about yours!
- Put up fliers in your neighborhood and surrounding area. Also, if your pet was lost in a different location put up fliers there too. Notice I said “too”. There have been cases of pets having great homing instincts and making their own way back towards home if they may have been lost while at grandma’s house. Here’s the tip though – prepare your fliers BEFORE your pet is lost! You know you are not going to be in a great frame of mind if your pet is lost, so make some good fliers with all the important information before you have to think about it during a crisis. Make sure they have a GOOD COLOR PHOTO of your pet, your up to date contact info, and LIE about needing medication. Yes, you heard me right, I want you to lie about your pets medical needs. People of questionable integrity are more likely to return a pet with medical needs, because they know that they will be more expensive to keep. An offer of a reward is also a good idea to increase the odds that these same individuals may make a good decision.
- Here’s another AWESOME idea I learned about today from a great client with a really cool cat. This amazing idea is honestly what prompted me to write this blog, so thank you Mr. “G”. He used an online store to print business cards that the family handed out to people that they met in the area while looking for their beloved pet. It’s an inexpensive tool (I think he said he paid $40 for 400 cards), and you can add a photo, contact info, and any other important things you want. I LOVE this idea and will forever recommend it to anyone I ever hear that is on the hunt for a M.I.A. family member! This image is a scanned copy of the actual card he used (with the name and phone number blocked of course). The best part – IT WORKED!!! “Dusty” was located and made his way back home!!!
The biggest take-away for today’s blog is to prepare ahead of time. Get the microchip, make some fliers, have the phone numbers for the local shelters, and maybe even go ahead and design a good business card that you can simply upload to a printer and have them the next day to help in your search. Nobody ever wants to lose a furry family member, so let’s all be prepared to have every tool in our arsenal at the ready to get them back.