It’s a pet owner’s worst fear—your beloved pet has run off and has become lost. Most of us seldom spend time thinking about the safety of our indoor pets. Did you know that a pet goes lost every two seconds? In fact, over ten million animals go missing each year, with only one in ten of them returning to their owners. The good news is that these unfortunate scenarios can be easily avoided.
How do dogs become separated from their owners?
Dogs and their owners can get separated in many ways:
They got spooked
Loud noises, such as thunderstorms and pyrotechnics, can easily frighten some dogs. A terrified animal might easily slip a collar or leap over a fence and flee. It is entirely disoriented by the time it comes to a halt to rest. The 4th of July fireworks alone are responsible for an increase in runaway pet admissions to shelters.
Some pets are born explorers. These animals can readily travel outside their regular habitat in rural settings and become lost. Some get stuck in man-made structures like storm sewers or drainage canals, while others get lost in strange woodlands and can't find their way back home.
They were kidnapped
Sadly, pet theft is a big problem in the United States, with over 2 million pets abducted each year. Some breeds are selectively stolen for illegal (and cruel!) dogfighting rings, while others are taken because the lazy and irresponsible thief does not want to go through the process of lawfully adopting a pet.
They got in an accident
Many pets are hit by cars or become entangled with other creatures like coyotes or snakes. An injured animal might be difficult to see, and these animals frequently go without the help they require. They were overlooked. A beloved pet could become homeless in in instant through emergency situations like house fire. And in locations where evacuations are prevalent due to severe weather or natural disasters, such as wildfires or hurricanes, pets might get lost in the chaos.
Here's what you can do if your pet goes missing:
1. Keep an eye out for them
Loudly call their name as you walk around your house or the place where you last saw them. If they don't respond within a few minutes, you should move on to the next step.
2. Make a call to your local animal shelter
This is critical because your pet could have been located and sent to a shelter. Call all your local shelters to enquire about your pet as this is usually where they end up first. If they aren't in the shelter, write a social media post with details including description of your pet and the last location he/she was seen. There should be a reference page for missing and discovered animals in practically every city, big or little. Don't forget to ask all your friends and family to share the news for greater reach!
3. Knock on doors
Go door-to-door and drop flyers as you drive or walk around your neighborhood.
Visit the Lost Pet Prevention website for more information on how to keep your dogs safe inside the house and how to prevent them from going missing. Please keep an eye on your pets!