In the UK we are huge pet lovers, according to the PMFA, 44% of households in the UK have a pet. Dogs account for 24% and cats 17%, we love our pets and treat them as members of the family, so when they go missing it can be incredibly tough.
Sadly, I know this from personal experience when our cat Bean went missing. Bean was always a wanderer, he would go out and be gone for hours at a time returning when he was hungry or if he was nearby when I called him.
One evening he was let out as normal but when I called him in before going to bed he was nowhere to be found. I never left him out overnight so I was worried about him but I thought he would be waiting at the back door in the morning. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and what followed was a horrible 5 months of searching for him, handing out lost posters and doing everything possible to find him and bring him back home.
It’s the not knowing that’s the worst, the thought that perhaps he had been hit by a car and we would never find out. As each month passed it began to feel less likely that he would come back or be found safe but after being missing for over 5 months we received a call from the vets to say they had a cat and the microchip showed it was Bean! We were over the moon and headed straight to the vets where a very happy looking Bean was waiting for us. It was amazing we found Bean after being missing for over 5 months and it shows that you should never give up hope.
If you’re here because your pet has gone missing and you’re looking for ways to try and find them then keep reading. Below you will find tips on what to do if your pet goes missing which will hopefully help you get them home as quickly as possible.
- Report your pet missing on the National Pet Register website. Here you can list your pet as missing, add their photo, a description and your details in case someone finds them.
- Contact your local vets and any local animal rescues to see if they have been handed in. It’s also worth letting them know your pets description and your contact details in case they find a pet matching their description.
- If your pet is microchipped call the microchip database they are registered with and report them as missing, also ensure your contact details are up to date. If your pet is taken to a vet and their chip scanned they will know they have been missing and will get in touch with you to bring them home.
- Print off posters with a picture of your pet and your details then post them through doors in your local area so your neighbours know to look out for them. Ask your neighbours to check their garages and sheds in case they have gone inside unnoticed. Attach the missing posters to lampposts and ask any nearby shops if they could put a poster in their window. The more people looking out for your pet the better.
- Post a missing pet advert online. There are several places you can post an advert to raise awareness, post it to your facebook page and make it public so people can share it, post it to your local for sale and pets pages/groups. There are also lost/found sections on many pets for sale websites such as Gumtree and Preloved.
- If you have pet insurance contact your provider, depending on your level of cover some insurance policies will provide financial assistance to help print posters etc to help find your pet.
- Don’t give up! Bean was missing for over 5 months before being found and taken to a vets so never give up hope of finding your pet. Keep posting missing ads and calling vets and charities to keep your pet fresh in peoples minds.
We don’t like to think of our pets going missing but there are a few things we can do which could help if they were to go missing. Microchipping is a must for ensuring your pet can always be traced back to you if they go missing, always make sure you update your address and phone number when necessary.
You could also purchase trackers which you can attach to your pet’s collar when they go outside, should they get lost you can then track their location using the device on their collar. There’s a whole host of cat and dog trackers available now. A tracker could be the difference between getting your pet back within an hour or two compared to weeks or months spent searching for them. The technology is there and I would definitely recommend using it for peace of mind.
If you have a male dog or cat then it’s highly recommended to have them neutered to stop them from wandering. Male pets often wander off in search of females and this can cause them to become lost. Neutering them can stop this behaviour and stop them from wandering off.
If your pet is missing don’t give up hope, whether it has been a few days or a few months they can come home safely. I hope Bean’s story of returning home safely after 5 months gives you hope and that your pet is found safe and sound soon.