Losing a pet is very stressful, but don't panic. You need to stay calm to help your pet find his way home. Here is a check list of what you can do when you realize your pet is missing.
a. Create flyers with a picture (if available) and brief description of your pet. Post them at stores, vet offices, groomers, and anywhere else that will let you put one up. Make sure to include a phone number that is always available.
b. Talk to your mail carrier, newspaper delivery person or anyone who is regularly in your neighborhood.
c. Go door-to-door to your neighbors with a flyer and ask if they have seen your pet. Some neighbors may be willing to help look.
e. Look for your pet in unusual places around your home, including outside storm drains and ditches.
f. In many cases, pets don't go very far. It is not uncommon for a house cat, for example, to get scared and hide in the neighbor's bushes, too afraid to come out. So be sure to thoroughly search your immediate area before concentrating on areas farther away.
g. If you have to go to work, or to sleep, you can leave out your pet's favorite food in a dish, luring him with the scent. If you prefer not to leave out food, since it may attract other animals, try leaving a T-shirt or blanket with your scent or your pet's scent. Animals have a much more sensitive sense of smell than humans and it is possible for them to smell it from a distance.
h. Put a message on your answering machine/voice mail that says, "If you are calling about our lost pet, we are out looking for him/at work/sleeping (or whatever the case may be). Please call us on our cell phone at 555-555-5555."
i. If you believe your pet was stolen, contact the police or sheriff to file a police report.
j. Contact the veterinarians in your area. Let them know your dog is missing, and if he or she is turned in to their office and needs care, you will pay whatever amount (or up to a certain amount) to take whatever measures are needed to save his or her life. Give them your phone numbers in case they need to call you to confirm identity or if they need a credit card to start treatment.
k. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, continue to visit your local shelters every day. Don't rely on the kennel attendant's description of an animal; what are brown to one person can be red to another, or tan to yet another. Check the shelters for yourself!
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