Your Pet Has Just Gone Missing. What Should You Do Next?
Your pet has just gone missing, and we understand that you are dealing with a plethora of unpleasant emotions at the moment. However, when it comes to doubling your chances of reuniting with your lost pet, time is of the essence—especially the first 48 hours. The sooner you begin your recovery mission, the better your chances are of finding your furry friend. So, here’s a look at what your next immediate steps should be:
Conduct a thorough search
The first thing you should do is conduct a thorough search for your pet where they were last spotted, or the path you might have seen them take if they have run away. Make sure to search your typical walking routes, as well as streets that your pet might be familiar with. Refrain from calling or shouting out your pet’s name, especially if they were in a fearful state when they went missing. Shouting or whistling could be a trigger for them at this point, and doing so could cause them to run further. Don’t forget to look in every dark corner, ditch, alleyway and even under parked cars.
Put up ‘missing pet’ flyers with a reward
Create flyers of your lost pet with relevant information like your dog’s name, their last seen location, unique identification marks, your contact details and a recent photograph of them. You could also add a reward if possible. Place these flyers in and around your vicinity, especially in areas that are regularly frequented by people like grocery stores, pharmacies, parks, markets, petrol pumps, etc.
[To generate a digital ‘missing pet’ flyer and broaden your search radius with our community, download the FORPAWS app here and register your pet]
Spread the word on social media
Upload a digital version of the flyer or a high-resolution photograph along with basic information about your missing pet on all your social media handles. You could share the post with animal welfare or lost pet groups as well as friends and relatives who can help spread the word.
[The FORPAWS ‘missing pet’ flyer can also be shared on social media]
Check with shelters and local animal lovers
Check in with local shelters to find out if they have had any new additions since your pet went missing. You could also alert local animal lovers like dog-walkers and dog-feeders to keep an eye out for your missing pet.
File an FIR
It is also possible for you to head to the police station and file an FIR for your missing pet. This is crucial, especially if you suspect that your pet has been kidnapped. Stealing or kidnapping is common with purebred dogs, especially pedigrees, as kidnappers are usually looking to sell or breed them.
Look at CCTV footage
If your vicinity has security cameras, you can get access to CCTV footage with the permission of the police or local/legal authorities. This could help you trace your pet’s tracks.
Consider placing advertisements in the newspaper
Newspaper advertisements are another effective method to spread the word to a large number of people. You could place an advertisement in the English daily as well as the local newspaper to reach a wider audience.
Respond and follow through with every lead
If you have announced a reward, you might receive many false leads. However, respond to everyone that reaches out and ensure that you withhold the reward until you have reunited with your pet.
We wish you the best and sincerely hope that these tips will lead you to your furry pal.
A pet parent’s worst fear is their pet going missing, because the chances of them finding their way back by themselves are slim. We aim to put pet parents at ease without the use of invasive safety procedures. Our ‘Lost And Found’ service comprises of an AI-driven identifier tool that uses facial recognition technology with a 90% match accuracy. Once you have registered your pet, the advanced machine learning algorithm identifies their unique facial features to speed up the recovery process, should they ever go missing.