What do you do when your pet is lost?
Tracy Jessiman Tracy Jessiman writes the weekly column Recycled Love and is proud to be a “voice for those with no choice.” Reach her at email@example.com
It happens to many devoted pet owners. Your pet escapes outside and disappears down the road. It can occur at your home’s front door, when you’re walking them or from your vehicle. Your pet sees, smells or hears something, and suddenly they are gone. You chase after them, calling their name, but they do not respond or return home. In tears from the stress, you start to think you will never see them again. Your anxiety heightens, you feel heartbroken, and you don’t know where to turn. Please find comfort in knowing there are numerous options available at your fingertips to help find your pet. Most importantly, have your pet microchipped with all of your contact information. Most veterinarian clinics can do this for you. Update the information as soon as you move or if your phone number changes. Ensure your pet is wearing a collar with a name tag at all times. Contact your local animal control office, veterinarian clinics, shelters, rescues, pet supply retailers, friends, family, co-workers and make posters to reach out to your neighbours. Many pet owners will open a Facebook page for their lost pet, such as ‘Bring Annie Home,’ who has been missing since Dec. 23, 2019. Pet owners depend on their Facebook friends to share the post as many times as possible. There are many Facebook groups dedicated to finding either lost dogs or cats. One of the largest sites devoted to finding lost dogs is the Nova Scotia Lost Dog Network (NSLDN). Janet Chernin is the founder and administrator for NSLDN, and she had the following to say about her mission: “NSLDN relies on our members to care and share. With the NSLDN now reaching more than 38,000 members, the plight of lost dogs is changing in this province. Dogs once considered strays are now considered a lost dog, needing help. “This change makes reuniting dogs with their owners more likely. Keeping dogs out of shelters and rescues frees up space and resources for the dogs who truly need it. Co-operation from, and with, animal services, shelters and rescues have been a win-win situation for everyone – especially the dogs. It’s easy for these services to match up dogs in their system with dogs on the NSLDN site, resulting in faster reunions with happy owners. High profile cases and extraordinary success stories have helped heighten the exposure of the NSLDN.” Once your pet is home, be sure to circle back to everyone you reached out too for help. Let them know your beloved pet is home and thank them for their assistance. Remove social media posts and signs you posted in your neighbourhood. Please find comfort in the fact that many lost pets return home on their own or with the extraordinary generous help of others. Please be kind to animals.