Any method is helpful, and pets are still often found and recovered by simple printout posts stapled onto wooden telephone poles. Luckily though, there are new unconventional ways to find a lost pet, mostly as a result of new technology. If this unfortunate, scary day comes, first - take a deep breath, then check out the list below. You’re bound to have more luck if you try these new methods.
1. The Old Fashioned Way
We shouldn’t dismiss this. Posting printout signs in your neighborhood, dog parks, animal shelters and surrounding areas can be extremely helpful. If you can, use a color photo of your pet. BE SURE to include his or her name as well as your contact information. Cover your printout in a plastic document protector to make it last longer against the weather. Be careful and wary of pet-recovery scams. These could be people who purposely took your pet in hopes of receiving a cash reward, or it could be someone who doesn’t really have your pet trying to collect the cash reward. If you do offer a cash reward, it might be better not to list the dollar amount. Also, in case someone claims to have your pet, it’s smart to leave out one detail in your printout. If the caller describes your pet with all the details on your post except the obvious detail you purposely left out, the caller could be a scam artist.
2. Shelters Do Help
When you lose a pet, anger and frustration sets in. Sometimes, owners get mad at animal shelter staff when they don’t have the answers they want to hear. It’s important to not lose hope and still commit to all the ways animal shelters provide to help you recover your pet. Post your printouts here, enter your lost pet details into their database, call or visit often. Make sure you do this at all the surrounding shelters and pet stores.
3. Your Cat’s Personality Leads to Clues
Knowing your cat’s personality can help you find him or her. When an indoor cat escapes home, knowing its personality can help discover where he or she might hide. Is s/he a care-less cat who doesn’t care much for people? Your cat will likely hide for longer periods than others and eventually make a quick break to find home. Is your cat goofy? Curious? He will likely travel longer distances when away from home. Don’t hesitate to visit shelters more than a few towns over to find him. Is she cautious? Shy? She will hide but likely be closer to home than you think. Listen for meows when you call her name. Finally, if he is the type that is fearful, skeptical or traumatized, you must have incredible patience. He will hide the longest, not call out, not receive treatment from others, and will likely be immobilized by fear. Be vocal and search by walking in search areas. Your presence is the best chance to lure him out.
4. Facial Recognition Apps
New facial recognition technology, such as FindingRover.com is a new age site that has successfully reunited plenty of pets with their owners. The program comes in desktop website and mobile app form. This technology matches eight distinctive facial markers on dogs with images uploaded by their owners, USA Today reports. The program can work two ways: between a good samaritan who finds the dog, uploads a photo, and is put in touch with its potential owners; or dogs received into shelters have their photo uploaded into the database, and if there’s a match, the owner is called. The new technology is a relief to have available, and has proven to be successful so far.
5. GPS Collars
We use GPS for so many useful reasons, what better idea to include the GPS function to something that’s attached to our pets at pretty much all times? Register your pet’s GPS identification on the website and app. At any time, you can check in and see exactly where your dog is. Additionally, if your pet goes outside designated boundaries, you will receive an alert! Lost pet diverted! Already, the new GPS fitted collars are making headlines with happy success stories. If you have a pet who’s likely to escape often, this is a wise investment!
6. Scent-tracking Pet Detective
Meet Glory, a bloodhound search dog who helps locate missing pets. Pictured here with Pet Search and Rescue Investigations founders Landa Coldiron and Annalisa Burns, Glory is a certified decomposition and trailing bloodhound who uses its training to detect the direction of travel of missing cats and dogs. This may not exactly be a new technology method, in fact, it’s a very old fashioned instinct and training method that certain breeds of dogs have been used for for at least a century. It’s the oldest trick in the book made into a new helpful resource for pet owners who have tried everything.
DON’T GIVE UP
It’s easy to lose hope and lose yourself in devastation, but persistence and dedication is key, and your pet is counting on you to continue the search to bring him home. As hard and saddening as it is to lose a pet, it is one hundred times more joyful, relieving and heart-warming to find your pet again.
If you’re a pet-lover and want to help, visit your local shelter to foster animals waiting for their parents to pick them up. The pet will love you for hosting an extended sleep-over, and its parents will be so happy their pet didn’t have to stay in a cell for long. Foster and adopt, and never give up hope!