What to Do If Your Pet Is Missing

Advice on what to do when you realize your pet is missing.

By Nancy Coveney from Reader's Digest | September 2005

When you realize your pet is missing, act fast. That ups your chances of bringing her home, says Kat Albrecht, author of The Lost Pet Chronicles.

  • Make it easy. Someone who finds your pup can locate you if the pet has an ID tag. Consider a microchip implant if your pooch often wanders.
  • Search high and low. Scared cats tend to hide, so search under cars, in drainpipes and on roofs.
  • Create the perfect sign. Include a large color photo and write “reward” (even if you’re only offering a few bucks, mentioning it will help) and “lost dog” or “lost cat.” Include your phone number. Tape signs to telephone poles in a radius of 3-5 blocks for cats (3-5 miles for dogs), high enough for drivers to see.
  • Call the experts. Check with animal shelters. Sadly, many pets are killed in traffic, so call local highway and animal control departments and ask if anyone has found a body that could be your pet. Find more tips at lostapet.org.