What to do if your pet is lost

Originally published in the Unleash Jacksonville GOOFUS issue

tips to find lost pets of jacksonville
Find your lost pet

It’s a horrible horrible feeling to know your pet is out there somewhere without you. Getting the word out and starting the search quickly can greatly increase the chances of getting your baby back safely. The following are tips and resources that can help you be successful in your reunification:

• Start looking immediately.

Search your OWN home & property to make sure he’s not just hiding.

• Search your neighborhood. Bring your pet’s favorite things with you, a “squeaky” toy or favorite treats and rattle them loudly while calling your pet’s name. It’s also important to stop regularly, be quiet, and listen to see if your pet is making any noise.

• Use social media! Facebook, instagram and twitter are amazing for spreading the word. Post on Lost Found Pets Jacksonville and North Florida, your neighborhood pages, Unleash Jacksonville, and ask your friends to share share share! Post on the NextDoor app.

• Use the power of scent. Place a recently worn article of clothing (at least a day… the stinkier the better) belonging to a family member or the lost pet’s unwashed bedding in your yard or outside your front door where the breeze can carry the scent. Familiar scents can bring them home. Cats will respond to an open can of tuna fish or litter box also.

• Post signs at intersections. Include the breed of dog (or cat), sex, age, weight, and color, use bright colored paper for higher visibility. Give copies of your flyer to people that walk their dogs in the area… and even the postman! The Jacksonville Humane Society has a FREE flyer generator.

• GO TO all the local shelters. Calling the animal control department or shelter on the phone is not very effective. You should go to the shelters at least every other day.

• Contact veterinary clinics both in your area and surrounding areas. Leave a picture of your pet with contact information for the staff.

Use FindingRover.com or the Finding Rover App (free) to mark your pet as missing. The facial recognition technology could help your pet find his or her way back to you.

• Microchips. When your pet is microchipped, be sure to register your pet’s microchip with the microchip company, and if you move, update the information.

• In Jacksonville, file a report with Animal Care & Protective Services. 904-630-2489 (select option 5) or visit coj.net/pets

Notify the shelter or rescue group where you got your pet. They can help!

• Don’t give up hope! There are amazing stories of found pets every day!

JACKSONVILLE LOST PET RESOURCES

Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services
(904) 630-2489 • coj.net/pets
ACPS current strays or found dogs

Jacksonville Humane Society
(904) 725-8766 • jaxhumane.org
Free online flyer generator

jaxanimals.com/lost pets

Lost Found Pets Jacksonville and North Florida

Lost Pets of Jacksonville

petharbor.comlostmydoggie.com
fidofinder.competamberalert.com

Atlantic Beach Animal Control • (904) 247-5866
Neptune Beach Animal Control • (904) 270-2411
Jacksonville Beach Animal Control • (904) 247-6167
St. John’s County Animal Control • (904) 209-6190

Have you had a successful reunion? Are you still looking for your pet? Do you have more ideas to help others? Post them in the comments!

 

Now you can subscribe to Unleash Jacksonville!

You’ll never have to leave your dogs again! \ Amy Olivieri

I can’t believe we’re publishing our nineteenth issue–SUNNY is at the printer as we speak. After every issue I look around and whisper … who did that … how did that get done? Should that be the last issue? Is it nap time now? 

No. Bring on TWENTY!

I figured after this many issues, it might be time to offer fancy-schmanzzzzy in-house delivery, like, subscription style. People ask where they can get Unleash all the time … they are FREE all over town. You just need to find them, scavenger-hunt style. Or, you can simply click here to find a location.

Better yet now you can SUBSCRIBE and we’ll get each glamorous new issue to you (but it won’t be free, you’ll pay dearly). It will be hand delivered by your adorable mail person. You’d been hoping to see them more, anyway, right?

We appreciate you knowing how to read and then choosing to read our humble publication. We are independent, original, and full of love for dogs (and you, you cutie patootey)!

Blue’s Miracle

All eyes on me—gosh, I’m a lot nervous … but I’m honored to be featured. This is crazy! I’ve never written anything before. Sure, I did pee a really cool pattern onto the side of an ottoman once—I’m thinking maybe this will be similar in experience to that? I don’t particularly think I’m all that special, but I do have a story for you. Are you comfortable? Can I get you anything? A soft little lick on the hand, perhaps?

My name wasn’t always Blue. It really doesn’t matter much what it used to be—I go by Blue now and I like it. Beautiful things are blue, like the sky and the ocean and my foster mom’s feet in the winter—it’s been a real cold one, eh? I was given the official name “Little Boy Blue” by the staff at First Coast Veterinary Emergency in October of last year, when I was brought in by my family. I heard them tell the nurse I’d gotten caught in a fence and could no longer walk. No longer walk is right! I could barely move, I was in so much pain. The sweet nurse asked my family if they’d like to find out what was wrong with me. I saw them hand my family an estimate. Mom and dad put their heads down and shook them back and forth. Not what I wanted to see, I was hoping for more of a nod up and down. They pushed the estimate away and scribbled on another set of papers. I believe that meant I was signed over to the clinic to be … uh … euthanized.

I watched them leave and I wanted to go with them, but I couldn’t make my body move the way it always had. “Wait! You forgot me!” I screamed in my head. They never heard my headscreams before, so not sure why I thought now would be different. But I was really freaking out and everything hurt so badly … I was desperate. “Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me. Don’t leave me.”

Well, sigh, they left. You probably guessed that. If they hadn’t this would be the end of a super boring story. But it’s not, and it’s about to get better, so stick with me.

Me … talking with my eyes.

Back in the treatment area, I lay in a kennel. I didn’t cry, but the pain was un-be-flippin-lievable. The staff was so kind to give me a pill which helped a lot. They would peer in at me and I would look up at them, and I tried as hard as I could to talk to them with my eyes—they were all I had. I wanted the staff to know that other than the fact that I had a broken back, I was a healthy, happy, sweet 6-month-old pup, and maybe someone could call mom and let her know she forgot to put me back in the car. Or call dad? We were good buddies! I really didn’t understand where my family went. I continued to talk with my eyes.

Then it was … my time. Dr. Tim Holloway was ready to see me. He put his hand on my head and sighed. I could read his mind. He didn’t like this part of his job. (Great! Finally something I could use to my advantage!) I poured on all the sweet I could, as if my life depended on it. Sweet eyes; check. Little soft hand licks; check; little head tilts; check. Cute face; checkcheckcheck. Some of the other staff was vouching for me—I kept hearing them say really nice things about me. (Thank you, thank you—you know who you are!) The next thing I know, I’m back in my kennel and they were all standing around it talking about something called a “McNicholas.” I tried to pay attention, I tried so hard. But all I wanted to do was sleep.

That’s Anette and her special friend, Dennis—he’s super nice, but not as pretty as my Anette.

I woke the next day to the face of an angel. My angel. She was, gosh, how do I describe her? Well, okay, so you know how dogs have the ability to see someone’s heart through their chest? When I woke up that day, ALL I could see was a huge heart with red hair pulled back into a cute little clip—classic Anette Nixon. She was cooing to me and petting me softly and making me feel warm inside—loved, I guess is the right word. I fell for her immediately. (I loved her even more when she brought me roasted chicken and helped me eat it out of her hand, but that’s jumping ahead.) Anette told me I had eyes that look directly into a person’s soul … which was really nice to hear, since that was how I liked to communicate at that time. She got me.

I came to find out on that first morning what a McNicholas was—I’m glad I didn’t have to wait too long, it was killing me! Turns out, it wasn’t a thing, it was a person! Haha, what a silly mix up. It turned out Dr. Holloway from the night before thought I was very sweet (way to work it, me) and he wanted the opinion of DOCTOR Tom McNicholas to find out if anything could be done. Apparently, Dr. McNicholas is … well, let’s just say he’s the best, and he knows a lot about fixing what’s broken.

Dr. McNicholas reviewed all the charts and graphs and stock reports and digital shiznitz and decided my back was broken. Surgery could possibly be done, but there was no guarantee that I would walk and the surgery would be very very difficult (and expensive). That’s when my angel, Anette, quickly stepped in and said, “Great! Let’s do it! We’ll start a gofundme for Blue. We’ll get the funds.” Anette is very convincing and she gets things done. That’s why I love having her on my side. Surgery was scheduled.

These were not my favorite days.

My back was so broken—so crunched to bits—that my first surgery took 5 hours! Think about what you can do in 5 hours. That’s practically a whole work day, for those of you a with job. For those of you without jobs, that’s 5 episodes of Ellen, or 10 episodes of Family Feud! The staff of First Coast Veterinary Specialists was working on my messed-up back for FIVE HOURS. Shew. I owe them a drink.

Out of surgery and on to healing up we go! At this time, I didn’t want to eat anything. I was feeling the pain, but still not letting anyone know. (But they knew. And I knew that they knew. And they knew that I knew that they knew.) Nothing smelled good and I was getting skinny. I think I mentioned before that Anette started hand-feeding me roasted chicken and that’s about all I would eat. For her to buy chicken meant she really loved me, because she loves all animals so much that she doesn’t ever eat them.

Even though she’s not my REAL mom, Amy loves me.

It was during this time that Anette started assembling my “team”. She reached out to Carolyn Edwards of Friends of Jacksonville Animals (FOJA) and they pledged to help with half the cost of my surgery—wuf wuf! (Thank you FOJA!) Anette then called her friend Amy to help start getting the word out about me. Amy called (or more likely texted, she hates talking on the phone) her friend Tyler to help start raising funds to pay for the rest of my surgery and future rehabilitation. I got my very own Facebook page so people could follow my progress and Tyler set a up a gofundme. So many generous people gave money even though they’ve never even met me! A community of love—I felt it all around me. That meant more than anything.

So … where am I now? Well, you’d know if you were following my Facebook page, silly. Take a minute and do that now. Blue’s Miracle.

Anette put out a plea for someone to take me home from the clinic because she thought I was getting sad. Which is true. I’m a people pup. ENFJ. Social. I like cuddles, bro, don’t judge. Anette’s aforementioned friend, Amy, who had come to visit me at the clinic said I could come hang out at her house for the weekend. That was many many many bowls of food ago, so—I’m not great with time, but I’m loving this long weekend!

My whip.

Also! I have wheels! Anette reached out to K9 Carts, which is a great organization, and they sent me a cart just my size. When not in my cart, I still pull myself around with my front two legs really super fast. I’m still working on remembering how to use them pesky back ones. I’m going to rehab at Veterinary Acupuncture and Wellness, which is sometimes fun (and, may I be frank? Sometimes not.) They have a water treadmill, which is pretty cool and I get lots of treats. They have a Dr. Jessie Burgess who is very smart and extremely beautiful—I may have a crush but don’t tell her, I’m working my angles. She does electro acupuncture and laser to help me heal and stimulate nerve function. I love every single staff member at VAW and look forward to going there. A huge thanks to owner, Dr. Jenna, for believing in me.

Can I tell you I’ve met the most gorgeous people throughout this experience? Yah, it’s been a real crap deal what happened to me, but the people I’ve met … almost makes it worth it. Constance the Pet Messenger did a psychic reading and she just seemed to know so much about me! Doryan Cawyer from Jade Paws comes to visit me quite often to do stretching, massage, and reiki. I get really excited to see her and always feel so wonderful during and after our sessions. I had a fantastic Christmas with another foster mom—Pam Davis! She was so kind to me while Amy was away. She got me my own stocking and let me play with her Alvin and Bubba. I loved hanging with them!

In the water treadmill at Veterinary Acupuncture and Wellness.
Getting Laser at Veterinary Acupuncture and Wellness

So many people have sent me toys and treats and belly bands and my friend Becky even bought me a cozy bed. I also have my own stylist—Custom Dog Bed Creations by Holly! She makes all my sexy collars. Salty Paws Healthy Pet Market has been SO GENEROUS to sponsor my food and CBD oil. They gave my foster mom a ton of samples so that I could pick what I liked.

There are just too many people to thank—but most importantly, I’d like to thank Dr. Tim Holloway and Dr. Tom McNicholas and all the staff at First Coast Veterinary Emergency for sparing my life. That’s not what normally happens in those situations.

Life can be kind of scary sometimes, since I don’t have a rescue backing me. I have my tribe, though, and they really take care of me! Now all I need is my own new family. Someone who believes in me and will let me cuddle with them whenever I want and will love me forever.

Thank you for letting me tell my story! I’m not giving up. There’s too much sweetness in life left to discover and too many wonderful people I need to meet! Walk on, my friends.

Much love & many little hand licks,
Blue

____________

Every day Blue’s foster mama talks to him about his real family and how they are going to be so happy to have him.

“Will anyone want me as I am?” He always asks. Yes, Blue! You are loved by many people already for your heart and your amazing spirit and your funny personality … and your real family will fall in love with every single part of you. Whether you walk or don’t walk.
“Well, I am going to walk,” he always says.
Yes! We know you are Blue. We’re all rooting for you.
“Thanks mama. I’m sorry I pooped on the rug.” I know you are, Blue. It’s ok.
“So … where is my family? Why don’t they come for me?”
Blue, they haven’t seen your amazing face yet. Sometimes the stars need to align in a perfect pattern and then Love happens.
“Well (puppysigh) I’ve been waiting a long time … how about some treats to make me feel better?”

Blue would love a family that wants to help him go through rehab. He’s hoping they have lots of love and laughter in their home. He’d love another dog, but would also be happy having all the attention. Blue requests lots of outside time and walks in his cart. He also asked us to put in here that he’d love someone who is liberal in dolling out treats and someone who likes to CUDDLE.

For more info, please private message the Blue’s Miracle Facebook page.