“Each year, the Animal Control Facility houses around 4,500 dogs and cats that were impounded as strays. Approximately 10% of those animals are reunited with their owners. Losing a family pet can be a very frightening experience, but there are steps that can be taken to make sure pets stay safe, and are reunited with owners….” ~DC Department of Health
Last week my community received two notifications from Nextdoor.com announcing lost pets in upper northwest. In one of the alerts, the owner mentioned that she was using two resources to try to find her tabby cat: Pawboost and Pure Gold Pet Trackers. This prompted me to google “lost pet resources”, and during my research I came across the above referenced excerpt from the DC Department of Health. 4500 cats and dogs impounded each year, and only 10% reunited with an owner! Grim statistics indeed.
I have been lucky to have never had a pet go missing, aside from a turtle who used to like to run away and hang out underneath the shed every now and then. I can very well imagine how stressful the experience must be. Although there are lots of precautions we can put in place to reduce the likelihood that our pet will wander off, it’s impossible to eliminate the possibility entirely (one of the alerts I mentioned above was for a beagle who had become so freaked out by a bad storm that he jumped out of a second story window and ran off; how does one anticipate and guard against something like that??).
It is my sincere wish that you never have a pet go missing; this is one of my primary objectives as a pet sitter while your pet is in my care. But should this unfortunate event happen to you or someone you know, here are some resources that might be helpful.
Missing Pet Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to reuniting lost pets with their people. The website includes lost pet recovery tips and a missing-pet detective directory. Missing Pet Parternship’s mission is to use the highest ethical standards and innovative techniques to reunite lost companion animals with their owners/guardians through training, education, and partnerships.
Lostmykitty.com is a nationwide lost cat recovery system with three pet alert packages on offer. The most basic plan is free and includes a lost pet flyer to be faxed or emailed to 25 shelters and veterinarians, and a free lost/found pet posting with one pet photo upload and a lost pet flyer for printing. Plans 2 & 3 are priced at $54.95 and $94.95 respectively, as of August, 2017.
Lostmydoggie.com: The same folks who run Lostmykitty, pricing and protocols are the same.
Pawboost.com: Featured in Forbes magazine and on ABC News Channel 11 in Raleigh, PawBoost has a nationwide lost pet directory and uses Facebook to “get lost and found pet alerts in front of local pet lovers who want to help.” PawBoost also offers three packages, priced at $29.99, $44.99, and $29.99 (again, as of August, 2017).
Pure Gold Pet Trackers utilizes search dogs handled by experienced lost pet detectives. Their website emphasizes that the tracking team is just one part of an overall search strategy that includes posters, volunteer spotters, traps, and feeding stations. I got an error message when I tried to access the “pricing” and “contact us” sections of their website, but found the following contact info on missingpetpartnership.org: 410-365-7456, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Noses Pet Detectives also utilizes search dogs, and provides a list of other resources and tips. There is a contact form on their “contact us” page, but if that doesn’t work for you, you can email them directly at email@example.com. Great Noses Pet Detectives serves Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia.
PS: Please don’t forget to microchip!