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06 Aug 2018 11:45
The Heartbreak of a Lost or Missing Pet 
In the past few months, Saddlebrooke Ranch residents have experienced several incidents of missing and lost pets.

For those residents who have joined the SBR NextDoor website, please check out several helpful links. Please consider uploading a photograph of your pet to the Pets link. This provides both the pet and owner name. If your pet goes missing, you can refer to the photo. If a resident finds a lost pet, these photos might be helpful to locate the owner.

Also, consider adding a phone number to your NextDoor settings. This will activate a “Message Urgent Alert.” If your pet goes missing, or a resident finds a lost pet, this message-system can be used to send a text-alert to those signed up.

What should an owner do when a pet goes missing?

According to Dina Fantagrossi writing for I Heart Dogs on July 28, 2018, "The first 24 hours after a dog goes missing are crucial, but luckily the odds are in your favor. A survey conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that 93% of lost dogs return home safely!" She offers 11 tips to help find your missing dog. These include 'thinking like your pet," meaning, consider why your dog went missing, and where he might want to go. Dogs have wants and desires that often take them places we don't want them to go. And the same is true for cats and other pets.

Notify your neighbors, obviously. Create a poster with the dog's photograph, description, name, and any behaviors that might help others find her. Distribute this poster EVERYWHERE. Make sure it includes the owner's name and best contact information. And don't forget using NextDoor Urgent message alert system.

Don't forget to contact local shelters and veterinarian offices. Depending on how far your pet strays or who encounters your pet, he might end up at a shelter or a doctor's office.

Another resource: the ASPCA has a mobile app. Check out their website to download for future use.

Here's some advice to help prevent or at least mitigate losing your pet. Consider micro-chipping and gps tracking devices. Fantagrossi's article provides links for more information about these resources.

I've also provided several links to other sources including the ASPCA, Animal Humane Society and Petfinder.

Kay Lantow