Oh no, I’ve lost my pet!

By Patricia Durocher • 5 February 2019

What to do when you lose your animal

So you put Sparky in the yard so that he can enjoy some fresh air while you take the opportunity to finish washing your dishes. After a while, you notice that he is strangely quiet for such an energetic and vocal dog.

You peek outside and… he’s gone!

That’s when you start to panic. You run into the street, calling his name, shouting “Who wants a cookie?”, hoping that he’ll come back, but nothing works.

Here‘s what to do to increase your chances of finding your little fugitive:

  1. Walk around the neighborhood with a bag of treats or your pet’s favorite Call him by his name. Ask your neighbors if they have seen him recently. Often, cats and dogs aren’t hiding very far; check garages, under cars, and in sheds and hedges.
  2. Call the shelter that is responsible for animal control in your neighborhood (your city hall can provide you with their contact information). Give the shelter a precise description and a recent picture of your
  3. Put up posters that contain your animal’s photo and description, including any unique characteristics, the date and location where you lost him and your contact information. Target mailboxes, bus stops, stores, pet shops, veterinary clinics and neighbors. Motivate people to call by offering a reward.
  4. Put a notice on the Petluck web site which specialises in lost and found animals.
  5. Post your notice on Facebook and ask your friends that live close by to share it. This will give it more visibility.
  6. Make regular rounds of your
  7. Look for your animal at night with a flashlight: a cat’s eyes are easily seen when they are illuminated in the dark, and shy animals tend to wait for night before coming out of hiding.

It’s important not to lose hope. Sometimes, animals come back after several days simply because they had lost their bearings. When you realize that you have lost your pet, start the search right away. In many shelters, stray animals are only advertised for 48 hours before they are transferred to another department, such as adoptions.

So you finally receive the longed-for call: the animal shelter found your pet thanks to the great description that you provided, or a neighbor found your baby playing in the yard with her kids. You had the fright of your life and you promise yourself to be more careful.

Here are a few tips to help you in the future:

  1. Sterilize your animal! A sterilized animal is much less likely to run away because he isn’t tempted to reproduce.
  2. Identify your animal with a tag and a microchip. Even if it won’t prevent him from wandering off, identification helps us find you if your animal is found by a citizen or the shelter. Here at Proanima, we find the owners of 100% of the animals that are identified.
  3. Watch your pet during outings. An animal can be easily distracted by another animal, a smell, a toy outside your yard, etc. By keeping an eye on him, you will be able to quickly call him back if he wanders off. You might also consider that if your animal runs off, it may be because he’s bored all alone in the yard. Playing with him will prevent a lot of problems!
  4. Make sure your yard is secure; a door left ajar, a broken fence or a big hole under the hedge are all excellent escape routes and might even give your furry friend a fun little
  5. Lastly, pratice recall. Some animals love running off and don’t appreciate being yelled at to come home. By working with rewards and a lead, you can condition your animal to come back when you say a specific word like “home” or “back”.

Simple things can help you keep your furry sweethearts close to you. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry.


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