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Lost and Found: What to do when the worst happens

May 28, 2024

Gates can be incredibly helpful if you have a “Bolter”

Did you know that 4th of July becomes animal services busiest time of the year? The parties, the people, fireworks and general jubilation can be too much for many of our pets. Doors get held open just a little too long, big booms cause otherwise homebody dogs to bolt in panic, gates get left unlatched. Just a recipe for disaster. 

What do you do when you realize your pet has become lost? 

First, walk your immediate area and knock on doors. More often than not, someone has come across your pet and has them contained to keep them safe. Follow any railroad tracks as well. If that doesn’t work, take to social media! Our local area has a very active lost and found pet Facebook group run by some very dedicated volunteers. Also post on pawboost.com, your local nextdoor app, and your ring camera account if you have one. Be sure to add city, neighborhood and cross streets where you last saw them to help your neighbors be on the lookout.

Post flyers of your lost pet on the telephone poles near school bus stops, the gas station, and school drop off and pick up lines. 

Once your local animal control service is open, make a lost pet report. If you live in an area where your pet could have run into multiple different cities, contact them all. Someone also could have found your pet in one city but contacted Animal Services in another city if they live there instead. Covering all your bases is most important! Be prepared to visit the shelters in person to make sure your pet is not hanging out there. The staff at the shelters do the best they can to match the descriptions provided but they are working with a whole lotta animals every day. An up to date microchip is the best way to be reunited quickly! 

If you find a lost pet, do all the same things!

Make sure your found posts have a complete description of the pet. Often pet parents are searching for keywords to keep their searching brief and to the point. If you are concerned that someone who might not be the owner will show up, require them to show you a picture or 5 (or 25) on their phone before relinquishing. Also don’t assume neglect immediately. Pets can look pretty wild after just a few hours on the loose.

You are required to contact animal services to report the pet found within 48 hours. Most animal services departments want you to hang on to the pet if you can, but they are available if you cannot. Be patient if you are calling for pick up, they are doing the best they can as quickly as they can. 

Of course prevention is the safest way to go! Keep your pets closed in a bedroom if you’re going to be celebrating this holiday season. Throw an extra gate in the hallway to keep your pets behind if people will be coming and going through doors, and of course having tags with your current information on them for people to easily contact you just in case they do go on an adventure.

About Us

At The Freckled Paw, we are committed to kindness towards both you and your dog. We understand that every dog and owner team is different and will have their own unique challenges. We pride ourselves in listening to your challenges and coming up with a plan that will help you reach your goals for your life with your dog. Let us help you navigate your challenges and come up with a plan that works!