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Useful Tips on Finding Your Lost Pet
- Right away -- go look for your pet! Do not wait for your pet to return on his/her own. Check everywhere -- especially places that your pet has been before (for example, parks and neighbors' yards/bushes). Search your neighborhood during the day AND at night.
- Put signs around your neighborhood, in local stores (especially pet superstores and grocery stores), and in veterinarians’ offices (where allowed) for a 3 mile radius. Your signs/posters should be large enough to be read from 10 feet away.
- Home improvement stores sell plastic 'Garage Sale' or 'For Sale' signs that are blank on the back. Purchase several of these and use a thick black permanent marker to write your information. Be sure to include your pet's breed/age/sex, where your pet was last seen, your phone number, Include information about a reward if you are able to offer one, and a (preferably color) photo of your pet.
- Tell your neighbors (including all neighborhood children) that your pet is missing. Remind them about the reward that you’re offering.
- Ask your postal carrier and sanitation workers to keep an eye out for your pet.
- Call nearby schools and ask them to include your lost pet’s information (and photograph, if televised to the students) on the morning and afternoon announcements.
- Pets who escape during thunderstorms or when they are frightened by loud noises or fireworks often run away in a panic. They cannot find their way home once they calm down. Place items with your scent (clothing, pieces of fabric, etc) throughout your neighborhood that will allow your pet to find you again. (Pets often hide in neighbor’s bushes or underneath vehicles and will smell your scent and return home.)
- Check all local animal shelters, at least once each week. In Miami-Dade County, lost pets (by order of Miami-Dade County ordinances) are held at Miami-Dade Animal Services, which is a completely separate organization from the Humane Society of Greater Miami. Visit both the Miami-Dade Animal Services shelter and the Humane Society of Greater Miami. If you live near another county, visit the shelters in the neighboring county, as well.
- If your pet was wearing identification, make sure that all information is current. If it is not (for example, you’ve moved and never updated his license tag or microchip identification with your new information), call and update it immediately.
- Do NOT give up! People sometimes find an animal and decide to keep it. A few weeks later, they change their minds and they take the pet to an animal shelter or abandon it on the street where they found it. Look hard for at least three months before you stop searching for your pet. Remember -- if your pet wanders away and doesn't come back, it is because he cannot find his way home! He needs you now more than ever!
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