In the Animal Admissions department at Calgary Humane Society, one of the biggest daily tasks is comparing hundreds of lost reports to all of the animals that come in to the shelter. Spring is the busiest time of the year for our Admissions staff and each day, Calgary Humane Society receives frantic calls from pet owners who have lost their beloved companion. While our Animal Admissions team works very hard to ensure every lost pet at CHS makes their way home safely, there are many steps that pet owners can take to ensure their pet returns to their family.
This first advice is, by far, the hardest. As scary as it is to discover your pet is missing, the most important thing you can do is remain calm. Replace your panic with a new mantra:
Stop. Think. Plan.
Stop and take a few deep breaths. Examine the situation and think about what may have happened (when was the last time you saw your pet, how long ago was that, where is your pet inclined to go etc.). Once you have some ideas, start making a plan. If your pet has been gone for a very short time, it may make sense to go looking and calling for them. If they’ve been missing for a while, here are a number of steps you can take to bring Fido or Fluffy home safe and sound:
#1 Start making lost reports.
When you call, provide as much information as you can about where and when your pet was lost and provide a good description of your pet. The following organizations are a good starting point for lost reports. Make sure to check the lost and found section of the City of Calgary and CHS website as well!
- Calgary Humane Society Animal Admissions – 403-205-4455
- City of Calgary Animal Services – 311
- Post a lost listing on Kijiji/YYC Pet Recovery/Local Buy/Sell websites
#2 Check with local veterinary clinics.
Many lost pets are found by Good Samaritans and brought to local veterinary clinics.
#3 Put out your pet’s things to entice your pet home.
Put food, a favourite bed, litter box and other familiar objects out to help tempt your pet back home.
#4 Arrange a search party.
Call friends, relatives and neighbours to help search for your pet. Choose the people that your pet is most familiar and friendly with to go out and search.
#5 Create lost posters and hang them up.
Create lost posters with a picture of your pet. Include a number that you can always be reached at (like a cell phone) on the sign. Hang up the posters in the areas that you think your pet might be, concentrating on areas where lots of people will see the signs.
#6 Above all, never lose hope.
At Calgary Humane Society we have seen some amazing reunions. We have reunited pets with their family years, and even a decade after they went missing.