Meow's disappearance has opened my eyes to the world beyond shelters and rescue groups when it comes to finding lost animals. When I went into APS of Durham yesterday I talked to one of the women we deal with for our print sponsorship of their shelter and she told me to go to craigslist. Really?!?! I kind of thought that was for old TVs, romantic connections, and listing apartments for rent...but animals? Skip over the pets section and go to Lost and Found and there is a mecca of Found and Lost animals. So meow got a listing...
Then it was on to www.petharbor.com and www.trianglelostpets.org for listings. You can post animals Lost and animals Found, and search by type, breed, primary color, age, etc. For the past 36 hours I have been glued to these websites hunting for our kitty. Yet, maybe...just maybe...the old fashioned flyer worked. We received a phone call around 10pm from someone that got one of our flyers. He received an email a couple of nights ago from a women that had found a cat, and he seemed to think that the picture she took and the picture on our flyer matched. Of course, he wouldn't give us her contact information because it wasn't his to give (yet he told me her address....that makes a ton of sense), but he emailed her my contact information.
Well of course, Kyle and I couldn't just sit here, so we went out and left more flyers...specifically on her street so that when she gets up in the morning in case she doesn't check her email, she'll see the flyer.
All of this got me to thinking about all of the points of contact one would need to hit in order to effectively find lost animals. I think of shelters, she thought of her neighborhood but not the one connected to it (ours)..until I talked to APS, neither of us thought of the web. Now I want to write a letter for our local paper about the top ten things to do if you find or lose a pet. Without a bird's eye view hitting the streets can take forever depending on the animal's size, and flyers that you post on poles can get wet in the rain.
As we approach the winter and the holiday season the weather poses a bigger risk to misplaced pets, and the holidays will cause many "gifted pets" to be "re-gifted" to the streets when the time and expense become to much of a burden. If we could effectively return more lost pets home, our shelters would have more space. Our pets are indoor pets...yet one got out. Luckily she is spayed, so we won't be adding to the overpopulation issue, but she wasn't micro chipped. I honestly didn't think our cats would NEED it. They'll all have an appointment with the vet VERY soon.
So please, hold your fuzzy ones tight and learn about your local resources for lost and found pets; get yours spayed and neutered (many shelters run discounted programs) and invest in a microchip. If you love them and you lose them it will break your heart.
Here's to hoping Meow will be home tomorrow!!
Until next time