Losing your pet, even if it’s just for a few minutes or hours is a horrible feeling. Normally they’ve just found something interesting to sniff or they’re visiting a neighbour for an extra dinner, but the worry can be very intense.
If your pet has gone missing, the main thing to do is to keep calm and try to be rational. Start by looking everywhere in the house – under beds, in washing machines and cupboards – and then search the garden, garage and shed. Your pet may have been startled by something and just be hiding somewhere.
What to do…
Form a search party with family and neighbours and cover a few miles around the area you last saw your pet or your home. Someone should stay in as your pet may find their own way home if they’ve simply wandered further than usual.
Make posters asking for information about your missing pet and put them up around the town. Include their gender, name, distinguishing features and appearance, plus your telephone number. It’s worth offering a reward for the safe return of your pet, although there’s no need to state a specific amount of money. Beware of scammers and never meet up with anyone claiming to have your pet on your own.
Children are usually very observant so get local children to look out for your pet on their way home and see if they’ll put up posters in school.
Who to tell…
Notify the police if you think that your pet has been stolen. If your dog is missing tell the local council immediately as they have should have a dog warden whose responsibility is looking after dogs. However, they are only obliged to keep any dogs they find for seven days.
There are several websites where you can register your pet’s disappearance (such as http://www.animalsearchuk.co.uk) and you can also look up pets that have been found in your local area. It’s also worth going into local animal shelters and vets with a description of your pet so that they can let you know if someone brings your pet in.
If your pet has been microchipped then you should call the database to let them know that your pet is missing. If someone finds your pet and it is scanned, they will be able to contact you to let you know someone has got your pet.
You should also contact your insurance company if you have Pet Insurance, as they may be able to provide you with advertising costs and a reward to help find your missing animal.
Losing your pet is heartbreaking but it’s important to stay positive and keep looking for them.
If your cat or dog goes missing, John Lewis Pet Insurance entitles you to up to £1,000 worth of advertising costs as well as up to £1,000 for a reward.
Your pet policy also provides up to £10,000 of medical costs for your pet and you can even arrange for your vet to be paid directly so that you can spend more time looking after your cat or dog. Visit www.johnlewis-insurance.com/pet for further information and to get a quote.