Search your property and neighborhood thoroughly. Cats and small dogs can get into tiny spaces. Look behind, under, and inside your appliances and furniture. Check your roof, attic and trees for cats. Leave a written description of your lost pet and your phone number with neighbors, your local postman, paperboy, parents waiting at school bus stops, and school crossing guards.
Call local veterinarian offices and visit all local Animal Control, humane societies, and animal shelters, in your area. Find out if any animal that resembles your pet was injured and brought in for treatment, if so visit the office in person. Leave a picture of your pet and your phone number at every office and shelter. Check the shelters every day or two, in person.
Put up posters with the animal's photo throughout the neighborhood, as well as at local grocery stores, pet stores and veterinary offices.
Keep the flyer simple and to the point.
List the major cross streets where the pet was lost since people are more likely to know where those are.
A description of the pet – Breed, color, size, and any unique characteristics, License number, microchip number, and a description of their collar (if applicable) and a clear picture of the pet.
Post the flyer, pictures of the pet, and the location you lost the pet on Craigslist, Pawboost.com, Petharbor.com and social media sites like Facebook and Nextdoor.
Check local shelter websites to see if they found your missing pet.
CLICK HERE to see a list of found pets at OC Animal Care.
Find out if your pet has been a casualty on the road. This is a sorrowful but necessary task. Call around and find out which agency retrieves dead animals from the roadside in your area. Ask if they have found your pet's body.
Words of warning: NEVER respond to a "found" pet contact alone. Take someone with you and arrange to meet in a public place. Don't invite the person to your home. Be on the alert for money scams. Use the identifying information you have withheld about your pet. If the person who claims to have found your pet cannot describe these features to you, it's possible they don't have your pet!
Don't give up! Pets have been known to find their way back home after being lost for several months.
Common-sense tips to protect your pets:
Fence your yard and check it regularly for escape routes. For the safety of both your pet and visitors (wanted or unwanted), keep yard gates locked.
Leash your pets at all times and don't allow them to roam.
Keep a collar on your pet that has an ID and CURRENT rabies tag.
Transport your pet in a carrier or always have your pet on leash. Never take your pet to the Vet or anywhere unless it is secured.
Consider a microchip implant. Chips are a positive and reliable identification for your pet. Shelters and Vet offices scan pets for the device.
Get some good photos of your pet in case you need to make a flyer or use it to identify your missing pet.
Both males and females will be less likely to wander if they are spayed or neutered. An added benefit is that they will live a longer, happier, healthier life.
CLICK HERE for a list of low cost clinics in Orange County.
Making Orange County a safe, healthy, and fulfilling place to live, work, and play, today and for generations to come, by providing outstanding, cost-effective regional public services.
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