No, I am not missing. Are you kidding? I’m rarely if ever more than five feet from my humans.
But my mommy and I walk almost every single day, and we far too often see missing pet notices like this one in our neighborhood. It makes us sad for the pets and their humans who are separated from each other. Mommy and I both know that we would be frantic if we couldn’t find each other, so we started thinking about some tips that can help to keep humans and their pets together.
Wear collars with up-to-date tags – Many times the notices for missing pets include this line. “Not wearing collar or tags.” If only. I always wear my collar. Let’s face it, it’s kind of a fashion statement, plus it holds three very important tags. The first is my ID tag, which includes my name, my street address, and my mommy’s cell phone number. My street address is on there just in case I get out and someone in the neighborhood finds me. They could easily walk me back to my house. My mommy’s cell phone number is on there just in case I’m out of town with my humans and get lost and someone finds me and calls her. My second tag is my rabies vaccination tag. It has the phone number for our local animal control and an ID number that is just for me. My third tag lets people know that I have been chipped. It has a phone number for the chip registry and my chip ID number. Those are my three important tags. Occasionally I add a little bling to my collar, but those three tags are always there. Mommy and I once found a loose dog who was wearing his collar, and it had tags, but the tags had old information because his family had recently moved into our neighborhood. Fortunately we were able to find his new home, and we hope he’s now wearing new tags.
Secure outdoor areas – On one of our neighborhood outings, Mommy and I found a loose dog (luckily he was wearing his collar and tags) and walked him back to his house. Turned out his human had let him out the back door without realizing that her gate was open. Our gate leaves a little bit to be desired. It doesn’t quite close properly, and one little push sends it flying open. So my humans have secured it with a heavy chain and a lock. They know that I won’t accidentally open the gate (when I kind of sort of jump against it because I want to say hello to someone on the other side) and they know that it will not have been accidentally left open when they let me outside to . . . well, you know.
Know your neighborhood and your neighbors and make sure they know you – As I said, Mommy and I walk almost daily around my neighborhood, and we don’t always take the same route. Mommy thinks that if I approach my house from all possible directions I just might remember how to get back if I get lost. We hope we never have to find out whether or not she’s right, but it’s worth a shot. While we’re walking, we stop to meet and greet our two- and four-legged neighbors. We make sure they know who we are and where we live, and we learn their names and where they live. On more than one occasion, being social has paid off when we’ve recognized one of our doggy friends out for an unsupervised jaunt and returned him to his home. We hope that one of our friendly neighbors would return the favor if I ever decided to leave my humans behind and take a solo walk.
Turn to social media – If, heaven forbid, you and your humans are ever separated, or if you happen to come across a loose and tagless pet that you don’t recognize, you can always turn to social media. Our neighborhood has a Facebook page that often becomes a clearinghouse for lost and found pets. There’s a similar page that covers our entire city. Every day, we see lost and found notices on Twitter and Instagram, and we always smile when we see posts saying that pet and human have been reunited.
Hopefully these little tips will help prevent pets and their humans from becoming separated and will assist those who have been separated to reunite as quickly as possible. Do you have some tips to share? If our helpful hints can prevent just one pet from becoming lost or can help just one human find the furry love of his or her life, we will have done a very good deed!