Ensure your pet is either microchipped or wears a collar with your contact details on it.
Secondly, keep your pet safe by making sure all doors are secure, or if they are in the garden, that this area is secure and the animal cannot easily escape.
If you are taking your dog for a walk, ensure it is on the lead at all times. Even very well behaved animals can run away if they are startled by a car, a loud noise or another animal.
If you have lost your pet, here is some practial advice:
First, don’t panic too soon - stray dogs are often quickly recovered by a member of the public, the Police or a Dog Warden. Cats often go ‘missing’ and then arrive home late, or even the next morning, wondering what all the fuss is about. So, give them a few hours at least before you take action, then print off this page so you can tick off each item as you cover it.
Action Point 1 - First, check all these places:
- every room in your house / loft / cellar / all cupboards
- behind curtains / under duvets / behind settees / under beds
- washing machine / dishwasher / tumble drier / oven / microwave
- chimneys / dustbin / water butt / compost bin / sheds / garages
- green houses / outside buildings / vehicles / Gardens / hedgerows
- ask neighbours to check their sheds, garages etc.
Action Point 2 - Make a list of the following details...
- the animals name, age and colouring
- when and where it was last seen
- length of hair - long or short
- any distinguishing features - white paws, striped tail etc.
- male or female?
- neutered or entire?
- were they wearing a collar, if so, what colour?
- is he/she microchipped?
- a photograph if possible, (people remember photos better than descriptions)
And give those details to:
- If your pet is microchipped, call Petlog: 08444 633999 or visit their website www.petlog.org.uk, so they can flag your pet as missing. They are open 24 hours a day, and also give advice. Every vet and Dog Warden knows their number, and will check with Petlog when they find a lost animal.
- local vets (all practices in your area can be found here: www.any-uk-vet.co.uk
- police police station
- local schools
- your local animal rescue organisations ~ such as Mrs Murray's
- local newspaper (lost & found sections)
- local kennels or catteries
- local radio or television (they often broadcast lost & found appeals)
- Note: the earlier you report your pet missing, the more likely that he/she will be found
Action Point 3 - Check your local area
- PLEASE NOTE, if you are under 18 years of age, do NOT go looking for your pet alone. ALWAYS have a parent or responsible adult with you AT ALL TIMES.
- walk around your local area, paying particular attention to any garages, lock-ups or empty houses
- call for your pet by name (you may feel daft at first, but this often works)
- shaking a box of his favourite biscuits, or squeezing a favourite squeaky toy may help
- stop regularly and listen ~ give your animal a chance to answer your call
- stay in one area long enough for your pet to reach you if he is in the vicinity
Action Point 4 - Advertise
Make up a leaflet, including a contact telephone number and with a photo if possible. Don’t put a full description of your cat, that way if someone contacts you saying they have found your cat, you can check those extra details with them to know if they are genuine.
Get plenty of copies made, and distribute as follows:
- IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are under 18 years of age, do NOT distribute leaflets alone. ALWAYS have a parent or responsible adult with you AT ALL TIMES.
- post them through every door in your immediate area
- display at: post offices, supermarkets, pet shops, vets, library, launderette, hairdressers, pubs
- and at: newsagents, fish & chip shops, corner shops, garages, doctors, dentists, police station
- don't forget to check local shop windows for a 'Dog/Cat Found' notice, just in case!
- on notice boards in halls such as scouts, brownies, playgroups, youth clubs, social clubs
- tie or tape leaflets to lamp posts, phone boxes, bus shelters and letter boxes
- also display one on your own front gate
- offer a reward if you can - don't state an amount, just say 'reward'. Even if it is a small amount to you, it might be a large sum to another person.
- ALWAYS remove any leaflets when your pet has been found