Last Updated on July 1, 2023 by Fumipets
The Aftermath of Fireworks: Aiding in the Safe Return of Lost Pets
Fireworks Fright: An Annual Surge in Missing Pets
In the aftermath of each July 4th celebration, an unfortunate pattern unfolds: missing pets multiply. The following day invariably sees my social media flooded with posts about lost pets. As such, it’s fitting that July is recognized as National Lost Pet Prevention Month.
Remarkably, the National Council of Pet Population Study and Policy, together with the National Humane Society, reveals that a family pet is lost every two seconds in North America. More than 10 million pets vanish each year, and startlingly, 1 in 3 pets will become lost during their lifetime.
Lost, Not Abandoned: Looking Beyond Initial Impressions
Before you rush to label a lost pet as ‘abandoned’, consider that their family is likely frantically searching for them. Even the most caring and diligent owners can face unexpected situations where a pet might wander off.
Furthermore, a pet’s appearance can be misleading. A disheveled look does not necessarily equate to neglect or a bad home but may indicate that the pet has been lost for an extended period.
Aiding in the Reunion: Tips for Helping Lost Pets
Here are some key steps to facilitate the reunion of a lost pet with their family:
Check if the animal is wearing a collar or tags, which could provide crucial details to track down the owners.
The return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs is over 52%. If you’ve found a pet, you can take it to a vet, a shelter, or even stores like Petco or Petsmart to scan for a microchip.
Take the pet around the neighborhood where it was found, and ask locals if they recognize it. Pets often don’t venture far from home, though they can also cover great distances swiftly.
Contact the Local Shelter
If possible, bring the pet to the nearest shelter in the area it was found. This is typically the first place owners would check. If you can keep the pet while searching for its owner, file a ‘found report’ with the shelter to facilitate a possible reunion.
Leverage Social Media
Post about the found pet on social media. In regions like the New Orleans Metro area, city-specific and neighborhood-specific Facebook groups and apps like Nextdoor can be instrumental in spreading the word. To prevent false claims, withhold certain identifying information and ask anyone claiming the pet to provide this.
Watch out for Scammers
Ensure the person claiming the pet can provide proof of ownership, like photos or vet records. To maintain safety, it’s best to let the shelter manage the reunion.
Create ‘Found’ posters and distribute them in the area where the pet was found, as well as local vets and groomers.
Remember, found pets should not be released back onto the streets or given to just anyone. If transport to a shelter is not possible, call animal control to arrange for pickup.