Losing your pet can be heartbreaking and can cause a huge amount of stress, but stay calm and try not to not place blame on anyone and focus on getting your pet back home in the shortest time possible. You need to create a plan of action and ensure all areas are covered.
Have a read of this helpful guide on the best steps to take to find your lost pet. We have tried to keep this missing pet guide as simple and short as possible and we hope you will find this useful.
The Initial Pet Search
Only one thing to remember for this - Search EVERYWHERE! That means the immediate area the pet was lost, don't waste any time at all in starting the search. Check sheds, garages, everywhere you can. Knock on doors and enlist the help of neighbours and friends, they will only be too happy to help in the search for your pet. Ask them to check their own gardens and garages etc.
Notify the relevant Organisations
During the search, contact as many of the following organisations as you can. These include:
Contacts for Missing Dogs
- Local Council's Animal Warden - click here for contact details of your local animal wardens.
- Microchip Registration Company - Contact them to log the information of your missing dog. You will be required to give them your microchip registration number details.
- RSPCA, PDSA, Kennels, Animal Shelters, Rescue Centres and Vets - Contact EVERYONE of the local animal and rescue centres and vets that cater for dogs. Visit each one of them IN PERSON with a photo/pet poster of your lost dog for noticeboards and make friends with them there. Time limits apply as dogs picked up as strays are only usually held for 7 days and are then re-homed or worse - DO NOT DELAY.
Contacts for Missing Cats
- Local Council's Refuse Department - This may be hard for some as many refuse collectors will pick up dead cats/animals by the side of the road and dispose of them, so its always worth a chance to contact the local department and ask questions. Not knowing could be worse.
- Microchip Registration Company - Contact them to log the information of your missing cat. You will be required to give them your microchip registration number details.
- RSPCA, PDSA, Cats Protection, Animal Shelters, Rescue Centres and Vets - Contact EVERYONE of the local animal and rescue centres and vets that cater for cats. Visit each one of them IN PERSON with a photo/pet poster of your lost cat for noticeboards and make friends with them there and if possible ask to view the cats they currently have to check.
Contacts for Other Missing Pets
Other missing pets such as snakes, birds and exotics still contact the local councils and any local vets and rescue centres and visit them in person with photos. Search online for specialist websites dealing with the type of pet you have lost and also log the details on our website as we cater for every pet.
You need to be aware that local councils have different views and policies for placing posters on lampposts and other council owned fixtures.
Pet Flyers and Pet Posters
Create / Print plenty of flyers and posters and take them with you for putting through letterboxes and handing out to people. Ensure you have a relevant up-to date photograph on the pet poster that closely resembles your missing pet. Try to print the pet posters in colour and place in all high traffic areas such as post offices, paper shops and convenience stores.
Search Lost and Found Pet Registers and Websites
Visit the popular lost and found pet websites and register your pet as missing on these. (Dont forget to remove the listings when your pet is found, as members may not be aware the pet has returned home and will still be looking).
Check the found pet listings on each of the websites to see if your pet has already been listed as being found. Don’t just check the immediate area, expand your search to wider areas.
One thing to remember is that breeds of cats as well as dogs can be misdiagnosed with many breeds now being cross bred, so make sure you include all breeds in your search not just specific breeds of cats/dogs etc.
Make Use of Social Media
Social Media websites can be huge boost for a missing pet. Add your listing to your own accounts and then ask your friends and their friends to share the posts and spread the word.
If you have added the missing pet to our website at www.nationalpetregister.org you can share the listing and photograph directly from the pet listing page. This feature will give you the ability to share/post your missing pet to your own Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages.
All you have to do is click the social icon below the listing and a window will popup allowing you to share the missing pet listing.
Lost / Theft Preventions Tips
It is always wise to try and plan for the situation if your pet gets lost and a few simple precautions are:
Get your pet Microchipped - it only costs a few pounds to have your pet microchipped and logged on a central database. Some councils/vets will offer this free in a promotional drive. It is a one off fee so well worth having your pet microchipped.
Wear a Collar - Try and get your pet to wear a collar with a contact details tag on it. It is UK Law and a legal requirement for all dogs to have a Pet Registration ID tag.
Missing Pet Kit - Have a missing pet kit ready for the eventuality that your pet does go missing. This can be a recent photo of your pet, local contact information for vets, animal shelters and your council’s animal warden. Microchip number and contact information for the Microchip company. Make sure your pet is registered with us here at the UK National Missing Pet Register, so that you can list your pet on our missing database swiftly.