Tips for finding your pet in our Raleigh and Wake Forest Neighborhoods
It’s one of the worst feelings in the world for a pet owner – you leave the back door open for a second, and just like that, your dog or cat slips out and bolts for the woods. You can yell their name all you want, but they keep going. Maybe they’re chasing a squirrel, or are lost in the excitement of being able to run free for a little while. Your heart sinks and you are scared for the safety of your pet. What you do next is critical.
Getting the word out quickly is the best thing you can possibly do. Some dogs and cats won’t travel very far, possibly just to the other side of the block before they stop running and realize they are in trouble. Others can run for a mile or more without slowing down. But no pet can outrun the internet.
Fortunately for pet owners in Raleigh and Wake Forest, we live in a very connected area. There are all sorts of platforms available online to help get the word out that your pet is missing. Facebook groups for lost and found pets, forums on nextdoor.com, and other similar sites are all good ways to help locate your loved one.
As soon as you realize your pet is missing, post an alert to your facebook and neighborhood websites, then take a walk around your neighborhood to see if they are anywhere nearby. If you happen to spot your pet, Dr. Tamara Hipp of Twilight Meadows Mobile Veterinary Service has a few tips:
- Don’t yell your pets name – they may be excited or scared about being off-leash and outdoors. Call them in a calm voice. If they do come to you, don’t scold them – they will associate coming to you with being yelled at, which will only reduce their desire to come to you when called in the future.
- Don’t chase them – Some pets may fear being in trouble, some may just be teasing you – either way, you aren’t going to be able to outrun a dog or cat. Having some treats on hand might make them come to you.
- If they aren’t responding to you, try walking back home – they may be more inclined to follow you than to come to you.
Of course you hope to get your pet back as soon as possible, but sometimes that doesn’t happen right away. If your pet has been gone a day or more, it’s time to start checking with the local animal shelters. Contact information for the Wake and Franklin County animal shelters is shown at the end of this post.
One great way to increase the odds of getting your pet back is to make sure they are microchipped. Any ‘chipped’ pet can be identified by scanners that are in use at most veterinary clinics. These chips contain the owners information and can be very useful in reconnecting pets to their humans. Twilight Meadows offers pet microchipping as well as scanning. Please contact us if you come across a lost pet – if we are in the area, we can scan them in hopes of finding a chip, or if we are not available, we can help direct you to the nearest clinic that has a scanner.
The best way to keep your pet safe is to not let them loose in the first place, but animals are crafty and can sometimes get the best of even the most cautious owners. Hopefully you’ll never need to use the tips above, but if you do, they can help expedite a happy reunion.
Wake County Animal Shelter -820 Beacon Lake Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610 (919) 212-7387
Franklin County Animal Shelter – 351 T Kemp Rd, Louisburg, NC 27549 (919) 496-3032