Lost And Found – When Pets Go Missing

1st October 2023

It is very distressing to have a pet go missing. If your pet has gone missing try not to panic and instead take the following steps to help your pet find his way back home.

  1. Try the obvious steps first – check your pet’s favourite hiding places, call and rattle food containers.
  2. If your pet is microchipped, contact the chip company to report him missing and ensure that your contact details are up to date. 
  3. Contact all local veterinary practices and the dog warden during their daytime hours to report your pet missing.
  4. Ask neighbours if they have seen your pet. Missing cats have sometimes been accidentally shut in sheds and outbuildings.
  5. Use local groups on social media to post pictures of your missing pet and provide a contact number.

Remember that it is a legal requirement for dogs in the UK to be microchipped and the contact details on the microchip register must be kept up to date. Dogs must also wear a collar and tag with their owner’s name and address on it, whenever they are in a public place. Including your telephone number on this tag will make it easier for anyone finding your pet to get in touch. 

There is no law regarding the identification of cats, but we strongly recommend that all cats are microchipped. A quick-release collar and name tag is often appropriate as well but accident-prone cats can get trapped or injured by collars so consider your pet’s lifestyle when making this decision.

It is a very good idea to have pets such as rabbits and tortoises microchipped as well.

Take particular care to keep dogs on leads and cats indoors when there are fireworks or thunderstorms, as frightened pets are more likely to escape and become lost. If you are looking after a pet for a friend or neighbour it is a good idea to put a temporary identification tag on the pet’s collar with your own details on, just in case they go missing whilst under your care.

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