We try so hard to control all the variables: We fence in the yard and keep it maintained, we put a collar on our pet with our name and number on it, and we make sure everyone in the neighborhood knows our furry friend and where he lives.

What do you do when your buddy suddenly disappears and you find his collar stuck to a post in the fence? He is out there somewhere, and you are worried he will be hit by a car, or stolen or starve to death…your mind is reeling with “what-if’s”.

The first thing you need to do is calm down and call the shelter. Chances are he is already there and waiting for you to pick him up. If he isn’t, call the police and Sheriff’s Departments and the radio stations to see if anyone reported a found dog. Next, check in with local veterinarians to see if anyone found an injured pet.

If all of these searches prove fruitless you need to post signs in the neighborhood and in the newspaper with a current photo of your pet and one contact number at which you can be reached at any time. Offering a reward may be a helpful motivator.

Chances are your pet will be found within hours and turned into the shelter. If no word gets back to you within 24 hours, keep checking in every day or two with the shelter.

A great way to identify your pet that can’t get lost is a microchip. The shelter scans every dog that comes in, and our clinic checks lost dogs for chips too. If we find a chip we immediately notify the owner to which the chip is registered. Make sure you keep your contact info correct with the microchip company. Nothing makes us as sad as a homeless pet with a chip that doesn’t have a current phone number for his owner!

Call us today to insert a chip into your pet. If you already have a chip in your pet, take a moment to make sure all the information the company has is up to date. Someday you will be happy you did!