Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lost Pets, High Tech Returns

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Sleuth, the Veterinary News Network Mascot

It’s really hard to think about, but every year, more than 5 million dogs and cats disappear from their homes.  Some just wander off and get picked up, some end up in shelters and some, sadly, are stolen!  Sleuth the VNN Reporter Dog offers these tips if your pet is ever lost.

1)    According to animal welfare experts, each pet has a one in three chance of being lost and away from home at some point in his or her life.  Many of these pets end up in shelters or even adopted to new homes.

2)    Veterinarians recommend prevention as the first line of defense against lost pets. Permanent identification, like a microchip, has been proven to get pets back home more quickly.

3)    ID tags and collars are helpful, but can be easily removed.  Likewise, new GPS technology sounds pretty cool, but delayed notifications, dead batteries and other problems persist.

4)    If you find your pet is lost, time is crucial!  Start by contacting any and all veterinarians, groomers, pet stores and other animal businesses in your immediate area.  Posting flyers with pictures near where the pet was lost can help spread the word too.

5)    Keep in contact with your local animal shelter.  Visit every day if needed.

6)    Consider online sources like or as additional help in finding your pet.   For a small fee, these companies can assist your communication efforts to find your lost four legged family member.

7)    Don’t forget about your social media friends!   Many of these folks might have connections with animal shelters, rescue groups or other individuals who are willing to stay on the lookout for lost pets.

8)    Use your veterinarian’s office and the team there as resources.  Often, these folks will know the best ways to bring a lost pet back home.

9)    Above all, don’t give up hope.  Stories abound about pets making it back home months and even  years after they were lost.

10)    Trust a site like to provide you with accurate and unbiased pet health information.