You don’t HAVE to be an incredible pet detective like Ace Ventura to look for a lost pet – even if the pet is your own – although a good dose of common sense and patience is one of the keys to success.
Here are a few tips in case you need to find your lost dog, or cat, or other creature you’ve lost:
- Stay calm. The last thing you need when a pet goes missing, especially yours, is to panic. A cooler head would get you through most of it, and maybe help you find them faster.
- Search your surroundings. Visit places you and your pet usually frequent while outdoors, and bring along their favorite treats/toys to lure them out.
- Bring along a friend, or a group of friends to help. They should be at least familiar with your pet and your pet familiar with them. And if one of your friends also has a dog that can helpfully track your own pet, even better!
- Bring along pictures of your pet with you on your searches. This includes putting up flyers, local newspaper ads, at nearby locations, and stores (if they allow it) to help spread the news that your pet is missing.
- Involve your local animal control agency. If your pet is the anti-social sort or could pose a small amount of panic in others (like the pet being a reptile) – I would say to get some professional help to look. This would include looking through local shelters, pet rescues centers, etc. For all you know, somebody may have already found your pet and took them there.
- Social Media. Another way to get the word out is through social media – at least in your local area – it’s almost like releasing a personal BOLO (Be On Look Out) for your pet and hopefully, get more people aware of it to help.
- Hire a pet detective. This is basically almost a last resort when all options fail. While they may not be as zany as Ace Ventura in the movies, there ARE real legit pet detectives out there that professionally look for lost pets. If you live in the United States, there are roughly a handful of trained pet detectives in certain states along with their canine partners that can literally sniff out a lost pet – sometimes in a matter of hours if the trail is still fresh. The only other recourse is to hire a pet psychic to find them – yes, they’re also real – but I cannot prove the validity of their work.
Good luck, and good searching!