What to do when you lose your pet

It is a heartbreaking experience to lose a pet. Losing a pet happens easily and most people go through this at least once in their lives. When losing a pet, don't give up – some pets have been known to return home after months.

To help you reunite with your pet, here are some tips on what to do when you are in this situation:

  • Make sure your pet is microchipped. If the pet is microchipped and it pops up at any animal organisation, you will be contacted. Also make sure your information linked to the microchip is up to date.
  • Tags around the neck with names and addresses are better than nothing, but they are not nearly as reliable.
  • Search your house. This may seem like the obvious thing to do, but there are so many places in which smaller pets can hide, such as under furniture, under beds, in cupboards, under duvets, in boxes, in kitchen cupboards, behind appliances, inside laundry baskets – the list is endless. And don't assume your pet wouldn't crawl into any specific space.
  • Search the garden. Look inside vehicles, inside the garage, and most importantly, on the roof and inside sheds. Many cats, if they are feeling ill, will try and hide themselves, and favourite places for doing this can include bins, drains, gutters, pipes, trees and the roofs of neighbours' sheds. Dogs, especially small ones, can also hide in the strangest places.
  • Listen carefully. Often, if pets are trapped somewhere, they will make a noise. 
  • Ask the neighbours. If an animal is not on your property, the best guess is that it's somewhere on a neighbour's property. Go and knock on their doors, but ask to take a look yourself in their gardens. Your pet will respond to your voice, but not necessarily to theirs. 
  • Spread the word. Tell everyone who comes to your area regularly that you are looking for your pet. This includes the postman, the garbage collectors, municipal workers in the area and schoolchildren who regularly pass your house.
  • Put up posters/hand out flyers. A clear photograph of your pet on a poster might just do the trick. Put this up at local shops or on a few lampposts.
  • Phone the vets. If your animal has been injured and found by someone who doesn't know who it belongs to, it is possible that someone may have taken it to the vet. Phone a few vets in the area to hear if someone has perhaps brought your pet in.
  • Check with animal organisations. Find out whether your pet may be at one of the animal organisations like the SPCA. It often happens that people find the animal and take it to one of these organisations if it cannot be identified.

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