Finding Your Lost Pet 

 Originally Written: June 16, 2009

By  Hanna Trafford

Finding Your Lost Pet
Finding Your Lost Pet

During the dog days of summer, many of us visit family, travel to the cottage or hike in the wilds – and we often bring family pet along for the fun. Unfortunately, sometimes the family pets take a vacation solo. An indoor cat may slip outside while the screen door is opened or the dog may dash out of the car at stopover.

Here are some tried-and-true ways – and some technological ideas – to help bring them home again.

Track Down Your Lost Pet:

  • Check with everyone in your household. If no one has the pet, start looking. Search your home – room by room, checking in closets and closing each and every door after you, then thoroughly check the yard.
  • Ask your neighbours to check in their houses, garages and decks. Ask for help to search the neighbourhood. Have everyone carry a cellphone and make sure that someone is at home to answer the house phone. Cats don’t usually roam too far so concentrate on a search nearby. Dogs often follow family routes so check these first.
  • Call local veterinary clinics, shelters, rescue groups and pet-grooming shops.
  • Run an ad in your local paper for several days and check founds pet ads as well.
  • Ask the local radio station and TV station for help as well
  • Make a poster, post it in your neighbourhood and fax or email  it to shelters,vet clinics, groomers and pet stores.
  • If you don;t find your pet within 24 hours, visit local animal shelters and impoundment facilities. Phoning is not enough, you need to see for yourself. Bring photos and proof of ownership with you and visit every other day for at least two weeks.
  • Don”t give up hope after a few days – many lost pets are found weeks, even months later. To keep your pet file active at most animal shelters, you should call back every week

Keeping Tabs on the Road:

  • Make sure your pet is wearing identification tag with your phone number or the number of someone who can reach you.
  • Pack colour photos of your pet, his medical and vaccination history, copies of any prescriptions and registration papers if your pet is a purebred.
  • List your pets statistics: ÍD numbers, breed of animal, age, sex, weight, shoulder height, eye and nose colours, type of ear, tail and collar, any distinctive marks or scars; coat length, type and colour.
  • Seal your paperwork in a plastic bag and put it in a glove compartment of your vehicle. And make sure everyone on the trip knows where it is.

Helpful safety information:


Most municipalities have mandatory dog licencing. Attach the licence tag, the annual rabies tag and tag with your phone number to teh dog’s collar. And always keep the collar on.

2. Permanent Markers:

In co-operation with animal shelters and veterinarians, some communities have pet tattoo ID programs for dogs, cats and rabbits. Check your local area businesses for this relative low cost safety feature.

3. Microchips:

Your vet can inject a small, computer coded microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) under the loose skin of your pet’s neck. Animal shelters and most North American veterinary hospitals have scanners that can read almost all manufacturer’s microchips, whether you are at home or across the continent. Ask your vet to check if the chip is readable during regular visits.

4. A Very Wide Net:

Internet based program operates in partnership with the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and is designed to augment – not replace – other ID. For a low one time fee, owners can register pets on https://www.petlynx.net. Anyone can place a found pet ad – that is always free or lost pet ad. The program will search files for match. Some Canadian shelter will register all incoming found animals on regular basis.

I do hope you will not loose your pet this summer – or in the future. But if you do, following these tips will definitiely be of help!


Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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