Lost or Found a Pet?
As many as 30% of people with pets will lose them at some point in time. With that in mind, we offer these tips for finding your lost dog or cat:
- Search smart. The best advice you will find about searching for a lost pet can be found at www.lostapet.org. Closely follow the Missing Pet Partnership’s advice about making signs and about the specific lost animal behaviors of different kinds of pets (shy pets, indoor-outdoor pets, etc.).
- Get help. Another helpful and informative website, staffed by people who will help you be strategic in your search, is www.missingdogsmass.com.
- Begin your search immediately. A motivated animal can travel a significant distance in a short amount of time, putting him at risk for injury or death.
- Begin your search close to home (or the location he was lost). While some animals will travel when lost or frightened, many—especially shy, nervous, or indoor-only animals—will hole up within a 3-house radius of the place they went missing.
- Do not give up. Searching for a lost pet successfully can be time-consuming and demoralizing. Enlist the help of your friends and neighbors in making signs, thoroughly searching nooks and crannies, and canvassing the neighborhood.
- Contact all animal care agencies in your area. This includes animal shelters, animal control officers (including those of neighboring towns), highway departments (if they are responsible for removing dead animals from the roadway), and veterinary hospitals (including emergency hospitals). Be sure each of these agencies has a well-designed flyer with a clear photograph of the animal.
Reporting a Lost or Found Pet to Dakin
To report to Dakin that you have lost or found an animal, please contact our Springfield Adoption & Education Center: 413-781-4000 or our Leverett Adoption Center: 413-548-9898.
Pet Loss Prevention Tips
Prevention is the key to recovering your pet more quickly or to keeping your pet safely at home in the first place. Follow these tips for protecting your dog or cat:
- Make sure your cat or dog is wearing current identification at all times. The best form of identification is a collar with a personalized i.d. tag. Rabies tags and dog licenses also serve as identification, but rely on town offices or veterinary hospitals to be open and accessible (and the tags must be kept current).
- Provide your cat or dog with permanent microchip identification. Microchips are rice-sized radio transmitters that are read by special scanners in animal shelters or veterinary hospitals. Injected just beneath the skin between the animal’s shoulder blades, a microchip provides a permanent way for an animal to be reunited with his caretaker should he lose his collar and i.d. tag. All Dakin alumni receive a microchip prior to adoption. Keep your microchip information updated in the national database each time you move.
- Obey leash laws in your town. Don’t allow your dog off leash in approved off-leash areas unless you are certain he understands and will obey your command to “come” when called. The simple distraction of another dog, a moving car, or a scurrying squirrel can send your dog quickly out of reach.
- Keep cats indoors when possible. Cats who live exclusively indoors lead healthier, longer lives than cats who live outdoors even part of the time. If your cat insists upon venturing outdoors, be sure that he is not out before dawn and is in before dusk. The twilight and evening hours are when most predators pose a threat to cats. Train your cat to come in at night by feeding him indoors in the early evening.
- Prepare for the worst. Even indoor cats can go missing. All it takes is a worker or a child to leave a door ajar, a screen to come loose, or a catastrophic event to befall your home and your pampered indoor pet may find herself outdoors in foreign and hostile territory. Even indoor cats need to wear identification.
- Holidays and special events. Fireworks on Independence Day, thunderstorms, Halloween costumes—all these can lead nervous dogs to take drastic measures to leave home. Know your dog and prepare to secure and protect him during particularly stressful events.