Originally published in the Unleash Jacksonville GOOFUS issue
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.
• 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.
• 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
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!