Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

How to Find Lost Pets

by | Jul 6, 2022 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 4 comments

July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month. More pets disappear over the July 4th holiday than any other time, because they get so scared about the noise. But pets get lost all the time. Both Karma-Kat and Shadow appeared as lost babies. Please bookmark this site for tips on how to find lost pets. Now, chances are neither Karma or Shadow get lost on their own, but many adult dogs and cats get scared, especially over fireworks, run away from fear, and end up lost.

how to find lost petsBackyard BBQ with neighbors, family, and kids are fun–until someone leaves the gate open and a pet goes AWOL. One in five pets goes missing after being scared by loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks. Whether it’s summer fun, or winter vacation, we often want to include our pets in the adventure. Nothing stops the fun faster than lost pets, so it’s vital to create a pet-safe plan. Read on for more tips to prevent pets going AWOL and how to find a lost pet.

WHY LOST PETS RUN AND HIDE

Fireworks offer great fun for us—and not so much for the pets. In fact, you can go to this blog for a tips post about dealing with fireworks fears in pets. But what happens if your scaredy cat or dog has already taken off, and gotten lost? A rash of lost pets almost always follows fireworks fun. A safe enclosure and proper fence (learn more here) can help prevent tragedy.

lost pet

Panic leaves no room for thinking. A terrified dog may run for miles, while a cat may hide nearby under the back porch–but remain frozen, unable to cry for help. Pets that may be friendly around you and the house may become so scared, they refuse to come to strangers–or respond to you, because they’re so darned scared.

How can you find lost pets if your dog or cat does the doorway dash or escape the backyard fence? Even experienced pets may not have a clue how to find their way home, and puppies and kittens are at even greater risk of being injured by cars or picked up by well-meaning people who find them. According to the ASPCA, nearly one in five lost pets go missing after being scared by fireworks. Petco Love Lost wants to do something about that.

Petco Love Lost Reunites Missing Pets

Estimates suggest one in three pets goes missing in their lifetime — a staggering 10 million annually — and many never return home. This heartbreaking number is why Petco Love created Petco Love Lost, a searchable national pet lost and found database — which is fast, free and easy to use. Anyone who loses or who finds a pet and seeks to reunite pets directly with their families can use the free, easy-to-use searchable database.

Petco Love president, Susanne Kogut says, “Petco Love Lost helps keep people and pets together for a lifetime of love, so we encourage pet parents to join us and register their own pets now should the unthinkable happen.”

Unique pet facial recognition technology enables Petco Love Lost’s national database — populated by over 1,800 shelter locations — to identify and bring these lost and found pets home quickly. And you don’t need to have a pet in order to take action to bring pets home, you can list any found pet too. To set up your pet’s profile and help families reunite with their lost or found pets, visit lost.petcolove.org.

lost pet

IDENTIFY YOUR PETS!

Identification is vital for happy reunions. Thankfully, today there are many options for providing identification for your pets. Besides microchips (Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat have microchips), you can also invest in tracking collars to keep tabs on your pets. That technology had a big role in my pet-centric thriller series, to track down lost animals.

Microchips contain detailed information about your pet in a tiny rice-size surgical glass capsule. It’s placed beneath the pet’s skin similar to a vaccination. Most pets don’t even notice. Once the dog or cat details are registered to that specific microchip, pet parents can access the information. That’s invaluable should your pet get lost or stolen, because shelters, veterinarians and rescue organizations can “scan” for the chip to reunite you. Some of the best-known microchip sources include HomeAgainAKC Reunite and Avid.

lost cat

HOW TO FIND LOST PETS

VISIT THE SHELTER. People often take strays to the local shelter. Don’t call and ask about a missing Great Pyrenees puppy. Baby dogs often look different from adults of the breed, and the shelter staff may not always know recognize your verbal description. You should visit several times to see if somebody has turned him in, and don’t take the staff’s word for it–insist on eyeballing the dogs. Your white fluffy baby may have rolled in the mud and now look brown, and you’re in the best position to recognize your furry wonder.

ID YOUR PET. July 1st is ID YOUR PET DAY but this is important all year long. It’s ideal to have your pet wear some type of identification. Up to seventy percent of animals that arrive at shelters have no identification, and as a result a great percentage are euthanized. A metal or plastic tag with your contact information attached to the dog or cat’s collar offers the simplest method of identification. A rabies tag serial number with clinic contact information also helps. People can call the clinic, where they look up the serial number to identify the pet and his owner. Tattoos and microchips are also common and effective forms of pet identification. Register pets with every database you can find, like the Petco Love Lost resource.

BE SPECIFIC. Avoid describing pets as a Labradoodle or “whatever” cross when the combination can vary. Will other folks know what a “silver shaded tabby cat” looks like? (HINT: that’s my Karma-Kat…) Offer specifics: curly chocolate color fur, one ear up and one down, 45 pound neutered male, floppy (or erect) ears, docked tail — answers to “Spiffy” and dances and spins when you say “wanna cookie?”

lost pet cryingTELL THE WORLD

VISIT THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Alert your neighbors to be on the lookout for a lost pet. Kindly pet lovers may take in a friendly stray and watch for “lost” ads in the newspaper before taking them to the shelter. Go door to door, and ask permission to check out buildings, under porches where frightened dogs or cats might hide or become trapped in an infrequently used garage. Holidays, when neighbors leave town, may mean the pet becomes trapped and not noticed for days or weeks.

ADVERTISE. Make posters or fliers to leave with neighbors or at the shelter that include several photos documenting a close-up of the face, full-body shots from both sides and the back, and any distinguishing marks. Lots of folks have a Labrador or Golden Retriever or calico cat but yours may be the only one with three pink freckles in a triangular pattern on a white tummy. Check with local newspapers about posting “lost pet” notices–often they do this for free. Use social media. Facebook friends and twitter followers organized to spread the word about a lost furry wonder to help reunite lost pets.

TRACKING SERVICES

TRACK HIM DOWN. Search and rescue dogs trained for years to find missing people lost in disasters, or that have wandered off due to illness or simply becoming confused. Today, specially trained dogs also are available to track down missing pets. One example is Dogs Finding Dogs, but you may find similar organizations in your neck of the woods. One time when Karma-Kat got out (EEEEEK!) and he wouldn’t come to us, we put his best friend on a leash, and Magical-Dawg used his excellent tracking skills to find his cat-buddy.

Cats also can track missing pets. And lost cat behavior differs from lost dog behavior. Refer to this excellent resource to become familiar with lost cat behavior, provided by expert Kat Albrecht (yes, that’s her name!). She also has cats that track missing cats. Felines’ ability to climb, and to access tinier spaces that much bigger tracking dogs make them an ideal choice in some situations. In fact, I used the concept of tracking cats in my latest thriller HIT AND RUN, based on this information.

Because a pet’s scent can fade over time, it’s important to contact a tracking organization for help as soon as possible. They’ll ask you to provide the pet’s favorite toy, a blanket or brush that smells like him for the tracking dog to scent and know what he’s looking for.

YouTube Button

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

 

4 Comments

  1. marjogo75

    I just finished a book by Suzannah Charleson “Where the lost dogs go”. She lives in Dallas. She wrote about lost dogs and how to find them. She has been involved in search and rescue with her dogs.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Oh that’s great, will look for it. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  2. Frank

    I’m glad your blog is back. It’s a hi-lite of my weekend.

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dog Fence: Creating Good Neighbors to Keep Dogs SafeAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Do you have a dog fence? When Magical-Dawg was alive, he’d take off after “critters” every so often, racing…
  2. Dog Hunting Behavior & How to Control Canine Prey DriveAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Chasing squirrels or bunnies offers great entertainment for your dog. But dogs may turn their skills to herding (chasing!)…
  3. Fear of Fireworks & Thunder? How to Calm Pet Noise FearsAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Up to 20 percent of dogs fear noises, and pets scared of thunder also fear fireworks. The typical reaction…
  4. Cat Wants Outside: Stop Door Dashing Cat EscapesAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] This topic always gets lots of attention. Note: This information and more is available in the ComPETablity: Cats book,…
  5. Happy Healthy Cat Month: 10 Ways to Promote Kitty PurrsAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Offer I.D. In addition to a collar and identification tag, owners should ask their veterinarian about microchipping their feline friend.…
  6. Check the Chip Day: Learn All About Pet MicrochipsAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] According to the American Humane Association, over 10 million dogs and cats go missing in U.S. every year. About…

Leave a Reply

Categories:

Recent Posts

Spoil Your Dog Every Day: 8 Ways How to Show Dogs You Love Them

August 10 is National Spoil Your Dog Day. So how do you spoil your canine companion? Or do you pamper your pet too much?

Our dogs give us unconditional love, and never care that we have a bad hair day, forget to change our socks or brush our teeth—actually, they might like that! They greet us at the door like heroes bearing treasures and always offer a happy wag and eager smooch. Whether dogs snuggle to share our joy or pester us out of a blue mood with a game of fetch, they love us 24/7/365.

That’s one of the many reasons dog lovers consider them part of the family. It’s only natural for us to return the affection by spoiling dogs. Dog lovers don’t need a Spoil Your Dog holiday, either–we love them every day of the year. Here are some ways to return the furry favor for your dog.

Recently, I’ve received a boatload of emails with product suggestions for spoiling dogs with healthy fun. So check out some of the offerings–and in the comments, add suggestions of your own! Then share the blog far and wide to spread the puppy love!

Do Cats Suffer Separation Anxiety? Signs & Tips to Relieve the Angst

Yes, cat separation anxiety affects many felines. When school restarts, and the kids go back to class, your cats (and your dogs) may suffer from separation anxiety. The signs of distress are very different, though. I encourage you to read on to learn about tips for helping your furry family members adjust.

More recently, with more folks working from home, the cats have finally settled into a new routine. But just about the time Kitty gets used to your new schedule, the world changes again if you go back to the office. That may make them more prone to developing separation behaviors when you go back to work or kids return to school and leave them alone.

We very often hear about doggy angst during a beloved human’s absence, but what about cats? Yep, it’s exactly the same—only different. Here’s how.

How to Love Your Cat for World Cat Day

August 8 is WORLD CAT DAY (aka International Cat Day) and it’s the purr-fect time to celebrate our cat love. Maybe you wonder “why does my cat … ” do all sorts of things, or “how do I make my cat love me?” Here are my top 6 ideas how to love your cat every day of the year, so your cat loves you back–not just on World Cat Day.

Cats are great actors and try to convince pet parents they’re already purr-fectly healthy and happy. With cats, it’s Valentine’s Day every day and a good time to think “outside the litter box” and find special ways to love your cat.

It’s fun to celebrate World Cat Day with special treats and bonus snuggles. It’s even more important to show cat love every day of the year, and your cat won’t care if it costs fifty million dollars or fifty cents. In fact, fifty minutes spent with Kitty probably makes him think he won the cat lottery!

TOP 7 WAYS HOW TO LOVE YOUR CAT

Give Comfort. Cat comfort is an important issue for you cat love. Every cat is an individual, so while one cat wants to swing from the drapes and meet new people, strangers could be a horror movie for other cats. A lot of that has to do with your cat’s socialization and parentage. Cat love means we accept each cat as an individual and adjust expectations to each special cat. Here are six ways you can share cat love and increase your cat’s purrs…

Don’t Go! Canine Separation Anxiety & What to Do

During the pandemic, many of us adopted new furry friends. As many folks moved their work world to home, the dogs celebrated! For dogs, that’s winning the lottery, to have their humans with them 24/7. And for puppies adopted over the past couple of years, they’ve had their humans with them 24/7. But now since the country has “re-opened” and many return to work outside the home, will canine separation anxiety become a problem for your dog? What about when things return to “normal” — how will they cope?

Each fall when school classes resume, I write about dog separation anxiety, and that dogs left alone may act out. After summer vacation with the kiddos, dogs left behind at home can mope and feel awful…and so can cats. Any kind of absence can potentially result in canine separation anxiety. Not all problems are due to anxiety–although the behaviors may seem similar. Here’s what you need to know.

Cat Writers’ Association Writer Contest Awards! Mee-Wow!

Way back in 1992, I helped found the Cat Writers' Association. Each year, the CWA hosts a contest for published work, and honors the best cat-centric material with a Certificate of Excellence in dozens of cat-egories. The top Certificate entry received the prestigious...

Furry Fountain of Youth & Dog Senility: Reversing Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

I’ve been blessed to share my life with two senior dogs, but only Magical-Dawg showed signs of dog senility, also known as canine cognitive dysfunction. Yes, both dogs and cats can suffer from a form of dementia, that some might described as a type of canine Alzheimer’s disease. Dogs aged 11 to 16 are most likely to develop Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD), sort of the doggy version of Alzheimer’s Disease. CCD is a medical condition in which a starch-like waxy protein called beta amyloid collects in the brain and causes behavior changes. Here’s what you need to know and ways to slow down potential dog senility.

Signs of Dog Senility

Dogs cared for throughout their early years live longer than ever before. It’s not unusual for Toy-breed dogs to live into their mid-to-late teens and even big dogs today enjoy a decade or more of happy life with a loving owner. A longer life, though, can leave your dog befuddled when canine brains turn to mush.

Affected dogs become disoriented, wander, cry and pace, and can become lost in the house when out of your sight. Their behavior can change from confident to frightened, and the awake/sleep cycles may turn upside down. Dogs can forget house training, how to find the door or be unable to tell you when they need to “go.” And most heartbreaking of all, senile dogs lose interest in petting, ignore their beloved owners or furry friends, and might not recognize you.

A longer life is not necessarily a better life, especially if your dog no longer recognizes you. But there are ways to help your dog stay connected with the world and ward off signs of CCD…

Pet Dehydration? Causes, Symptoms & First Aid for Dog Dehydration and Cat Dehydration

Cat and dog dehydration refers to the excessive loss of body water. Pets are prone to dehydration when the weather gets very hot, and they don’t have access to enough water. As a result, they can develop heatstroke. More often, though, dog and cat dehydration happens from vomiting and diarrhea.

Here in Texas, we’ve had weeks of triple-digit temperatures. I worry about the outside pets, but even indoor cats and dogs can suffer from dehydration. Normal water loss occurs in the pet’s bathroom deposits, through moisture exhaled with the breath, and through sweat. These fluids get replaced when the cat and dog eat and drink.

Causes of Cat & Dog Dehydration

Any illness may prompt pets to stop eating and drinking, and prolonged fever increases the loss of body fluid. Specific disease conditions or injuries like diabetes or kidney disease may cause excessive urination that also causes of dehydration.

Cats evolved as desert creatures and have an amazing ability to conserve water, but cat dehydration can still kill. Even though cats seem to prefer to drink water in the weirdest places (the sink? your glass? the TOILET?!) they most often just don’t drink enough water. It’s important to know the signs of cat dehydration and provide ample drinking ops to keep kitty healthy and happy.

A normal adult pet’s total body water is approximately 60 percent of his body weight. That means your 12-pound pet carries over 7 pounds of liquid! Signs of dehydration become apparent when he loses as little as five percent of normal body water. A 12 to 15 percent loss of total body water results in shock and imminent death. Here are the signs of pet dehydration, and how to treat it with first aid.

Guest Blog: The little tart centerpiece in my kitchen

I’m heading back home to visit my 95-year-old dad this weekend, and reconnect with friends at my high school reunion. Shadow-Pup and Karma-Kat will stay at the “pet resort” while I’m gone. My husband has scheduled folks to come in and replace the carpet with hardwood–what a process! Moving furniture around ain’t fun…and we waited until the last minute to (temporarily) relocated the dog bed and cat trees. As you know, our pets (especially cats) love the status quo. Urk!

Back in May, my CWA member colleague, Tracy Ahrens shared a guest blog with me about her special dog. Today, she shares musings about a special cat. My Karma also sleeps in a variety of endearing, awkward, and unique poses, so I smiled with recognition reading about her cat Forest. What is it about cat sleep habits that delights us so? I know that Karma has his favorite sleep spots–in the dog bed on the dining room table, top of his cat trees, and my pillow at night. So once the floors get done, we’ll make sure to satisfy and catify his kitty spots. Like Forest (below), Karma decides what he likes and wants.

This entertaining piece first appeared on the WagTheDogUK blog. It has won a CWA Certificate of Excellence Award in the 2021 contest.

Deck The Bed With…Colorful Quilts

Visitors to my kitchen are greeted by a small litter box close to the stove, snug against a cupboard and partially seated on an area rug.

I first lined the box with a spare bath towel and Forest purred while resting in it. Soon after, I topped that towel with a mini flannel quilt made by my mom. The quilt extends up the sides of the box and I carefully gather it around the edges so it stays in place when Forest crawls on top.

I have pondered the overall image of Forest in the litter box. He looks like the sweet filling in a little tart-like bed with a flannel quilt crust…

The DOs and DONTs of Camping with Your Dog or Cat

Summer arrived even earlier than expected this year, with temperatures hitting triple digits by mid-June. There’s still plenty of pet camping season left. Even though camping with pets isn’t for me, I know lots of folks who LOVE it, including my brother and his dog. He takes the dog with them camping, boating, skiing, and pretty much everywhere.

Bringing your furry one along camping (or glamping) is a great bonding experience. But before you pack up and hit the road, look over my DOs and DONTs of camping with your dog or cat.

What to do when camping with a pet

First, decide if your pet will enjoy camping. Not all will enjoy it. My Karma-Kat would HATE camping. He’s a homebody, and enjoys watching birds, bunnies, and squirrels through the window, but freezes when his paws hit the grass. Shadow-Pup’s more adventurous and probably would do better…

What to Do for Fire Hazards & Pet Smoke Inhalation

It’s National Pet Fire Safety Day on July 15, and here in Texas with heat rolling over the land, flash fires threaten all summer long. I wrote about disaster preparation on the blog recently, and fire hazards and smoke inhalation issues are another issue affecting pets. All across the country, too many folks have already lost homes, property, and even the lives of human and animal loved ones. A few years ago, some of my Facebook friends asked me to post about smoke inhalation information, and I wanted to expand on that. Knowing what to do should your cat or dog suffer fire-related injury could save their lives.

Most cases of smoke inhalation involve situations where the pet cannot escape. Dogs and especially cats tend to hide when frightened, and may not make an effort to get out of a burning building until too late. But the recent wind-fanned flames of grass fires move quickly, produce a lot of smoke, and can catch outdoor pets unprepared…

Visit Amy’s Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This