Pet Patter: Lost Pets

No matter how much we love and take care for our pets, there any many unforeseen events that can occur and result in a pet to go missing. By knowing a little about your pet’s personality and behavior, you can prevent them from becoming lost. By being educated on some proven search tips, you will be prepared to lessen the time it takes to locate your pet.

  Joilene Sholtes

To begin, prepare a lost pet kit in advance by taking some up-to-date photos of your pet and creating posters so that you can act quickly if needed. It is always a good preventative practice to either microchip or collar and tag your pet (include contact information so that your pet can be returned to you when veterinary or animal control offices are closed).

If your curious cat runs through an open door to have a taste of an outdoor adventure or because they are afraid from the chaos of a property move, they are likely to hide to avoid any threats. Look for them in bushes, up in trees, or under decks or debris. Also, because they are avoiding detection from other predators, they may not respond to your calls. Do not give up your search for them too early as they will need some coaxing. Call your pets name as you walk or drive around your search area. Shake a bag of treats or squeeze/ rattle their favorite toy.

If your dog gets away from you to chase after other animals or because they are afraid of loud noises or busy crowds, they may run for some time before realizing how far they are. If they are fearful, they may avoid people and the places they frequent and seek a forested/sheltered area to hide in. If your dog is friendly, they are likely to be found in a neighboring backyard or busy street.

Placing an article of clothing that will have your scent on it as well as an article of your pet’s  with its scent on it, may help to lure your pet back to you. Placing some treats outside and around your home and/or in the last area your pet was seen, may also help them locate you.

Visit local animal shelters, animal control offices, Ontario SPCA branches, and veterinary offices. Provide them with a recent photo of your pet and your contact information for both day and night. Place missing pet signs there as well as at major intersections and stores within at least a two kilometer radius and remove the posters once your pet is found.

Posting a picture and a description of your pet on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be very effective at helping locate your pet, as family and friends can share, re-tweet and re-gram the post, spreading the word. There are also organizations such as,, and, that help spread the word about your pet via various websites and social media sites or use volunteers to physically search for your pet. Placing an ad in your local newspaper or on-line news also helps and be sure to check the sites every day.

Hopefully, these tips will aid you if the circumstance of a lost pet ever presents itself. I hope for you and your pet’s sake that it never does.