Caring for Man's Best Friend: How to Find a Missing Pet

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We had quite the scare last night. Our dog, Kayla, went missing. She jumped out the window of our car to chase after a cat. We spent about an hour fighting about looking for her and a little more than an hour actually looking. Fortunately we found her about a mile north of where she escaped, deep into a sub division.

This whole incident reminded me of some really important things:

Pet ID

  • Take detailed pictures of her that include any identifying marks
  • Keep her license updated and make sure you have a copy of it on hand
  • Get an ID tag for her with your current phone number and address. PetCo has tag kiosks that make this easy

If your pet goes missing

  • Stay calm and don’t fight
  • Look at a map so you can cover the surrounding area systematically
  • If you can have someone else look with you, split up
  • Look for more than an hour
  • I don’t think this is a good time to “flyer”–I’d rather be out looking
  • Cover an area of about a mile in each direction

Kayla went about a mile in a couple of hours. She’s a German Shepherd mix and she’s pretty fast. The good thing is free dogs are a little curious. I don’t think their intention is to run a marathon to the nearest highway. They’re just being curious. Hopefully they’ll dilly-dally. Of course this can vary depending on your pet.

If you still can’t find her

  • Call Pets 911 to report your pet
  • Call your county’s animal control hotline to see if she’s been reported
  • Flyer: Maricopa county has a great Sample Lost Pet Poster
  • Visit several shelters daily

When you find your pet let her lick your face. It’s a tough thing to lose a close friend — even if that friend is a dog.