The first step in the process is, as mentioned above, is remaining calm. It’s easier said than done, but remember you are the key to a happy reunion with your pet. Take a deep breath and focus how you will utilize the rest of the tips provided here.
Spread the Word
The primary way that most lost pets find their way home is through your neighbors. Use a current photo of your pet and create and print a flier with your computer. Make sure the word “LOST”, your pet’s picture and your phone number are the most visible (largest) portions of the flier. Post this flier around the neighborhood. You may also consider e-mailing (most e-mail programs will allow you to mark the e-mail with “urgent” or “high” priority) your flier to your neighbors and your home owners’ association as a very fast and efficient method of disbursal.
Get the word out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Also consider posting on local Lost Pet sites via Facebook and/or traditional websites. Often community associations ortowns have their own on-line bulletin boards. Also spread the word on your Facebook page or other social media sites.
Get Out and Look
Walk around the area calling your pet’s name. Stop by your neighbors and ask if they’ve seen your dog or cat – also leave a flier with them. If your search of the immediate area doesn’t turn up anything, hop in your car and slowly drive around the neighborhood. Cats will tend to stay close to home – be sure to check under open steps, in bushes, or in sheds. Normal feeding time and just before/after dark are excellent times to look for your pet. Shake a box or can of treats and call her name.
Contact Local Animal Shelters
Clarksburg is not too far from the Montgomery-Frederick county line. Be sure to contact both county animal shelters with a good description of your pet, your contact information, as well as the location and time where your pet was lost (consider e-mailing or faxing your flier). If your pet has a microchip, give them that information as well.
Call to check with them daily for any updates. Do not rely on them to call you. They are very busy places with many volunteers with lots of responsibilities. You are more likely to find you pet by being proactive.
Even with the best picture or best verbal description, the human eye and mind could interpret that description differently. Your pet may be a little scared by the shelter surroundings and might not respond to its name being called. Either of these cases could mean you could be told your pet isn’t there – but actually is. We are not saying these mistakes occur often nor are we saying that shelter employees and volunteers can’t be trusted, but we are saying that these mistakes do happen to the best of us. Be proactive, GO VISIT!!! See for yourself that your pet is definitely not there.
The Montgomery County Humane Society maintains their stray animal list through “Pet Harbor” You are urged to also call them at 240-773-5960 as Pet Harbor might not be updated “up to the minute”. You might also try their Facebook page.
Contact the Microchip Company
If your pet has a microchip, call your microchip company to inform them of your missing pet. If your pet is registered with HomeAgain and you have paid the annual fee, they will proactively send a fax to all veterinary hospitals, animal shelters and volunteer “PetRescuers” within a 25 mile radius of where your microchipped pet was lost. If you have only paid the lifetime fee, don’t worry – you can still call at any time to pay the annual fee.
Many veterinarians, emergency clinics, and specialist have microchip scanners and will scan an animal that is brought to their facility. They will usually call HomeAgain to report the lost animal and you will receive a call from HomeAgain alerting you to where your animal is at.
Call Local Veterinarians
Call veterinarians, emergency clinics, and specialty hospitals in your area. Sometimes good Samaritans find pets and bring them to a nearby veterinary establishment. You should also bring the same flier used in the neighborhood to these locations as well – most have bulletin board where they can be placed.
Contact a Pet Communicator/Psychic
Yes, this may sound a bit quirky to some of you, but it is another option when nothing else has been successful. There are pets that have been recovered using these methods. Try to choose someone based on a recommendation. This is an area ripe with people who may want to capitalize on your desperation and raw emotions.