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What to Do If You Find a Lost Pet
We’ve all been there—finding a lost kitty on the porch one morning, or meeting a seemingly lost dog across the street. Is there anything you can do to help a lost pet? One in every three pets goes missing at some point in their lifetime. Pets get lost for a variety of reasons but with the help of concerned citizens like you, these lost pets can be kept safe from harm and be reunited with their owners. Should you encounter a lost cat or a lost dog, these are the steps you should take to help return it safely back home.
- Take it in your care
To help any lost pet, you must first be able to capture it safely and keep it from running away towards further danger. You have to be cautious when you make your approach. Try to read the animal’s body language. If the dog or cat is domesticated and indeed lost, it shouldn’t be too wary of people (except in cases when the animal has had a traumatic past, or is actually feral). Offer strong-smelling cat or dog food to lure the animal to a carrier or inside your car.
- Check for identification
ID tags should tell you to whom the lost pet belongs to. In some cases, lost pets don’t have tags or have them but contain out-dated information. Another way to try to identify a lost pet is by taking it to the vet to be scanned for a microchip. If the owner completed the registration to the microchip database, it shouldn’t be hard to get in touch with them.
- Report lost pet
Find and make use of all platforms you can find to spread word about the pet you found. Websites like PawMaw.com allow you to post a free listing and search for a match in the lost and found pet database. In case the pet’s owners have reported the pet you found, you will be able to contact them directly. PawMaw.com also allows you to send out pet alert to a growing community of pet owners, rescuers, volunteers, and community members. You may also post ads in the local newspaper, online classifieds, and community pages on social media.
- Post lost pet flyers
Print a lost pet flyer and post as many of these as you can in places where more people are likely to see. Making a lost pet flyer is easy. Just make sure to include a clear photograph of the lost cat or dog, and add details such as when and where he was found. Add your updated contact information. You can also show ask for permission to post these flyers in vet clinics, animal shelters, and pet supply stores.
- Take it to the animal shelter
You may opt to take the lost animal to the nearest animal shelter, where it can get the care it needs while you’re helping search for the owner. If, after a certain period of time, the owner doesn’t come forward to claim the pet, the shelter will take responsibility in finding a new home for the cat or dog.
If you’re interested in adopting the lost pet, you may consult the animal shelter staff with regard to the state laws when it comes to adopting lost animals. Typically, there would be a holding period to give the owners enough time to claim their lost pet. If the holding period expires, the pet will then be put up for adoption, at which time you can then apply for guardianship.
If you adopt a new pet, you’re not only helping an animal in need —you’re also assured a home full of love and joy!