Do you know what day is historically the busiest day of the year in animal shelters all across the country?
More pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time of the year. You might view fireworks as a fantastic light show with loud booms and blasts, while your pet experiences terrifying explosions that attack their senses. Without understanding these noises, pets become frantic and often run away.I have worked or volunteered at animal shelters for over 10 year and I understand that losing your furry BFF can be an emotional and stressful experience. The first 24-48 hours are the most critical when your pet is lost. Knowing where to turn and who to quickly contact is critical to saving your lost pet’s life.
- Call the animal control facility that service your neighborhood. If you live in the City of Pittsburgh that number is 412-255-2036. If you live outside of Pittsburgh, check this list for your area. If your boro or township does not have an animal control department, notify your local police department.
- Notify all the local animal shelters:
Western Pennsylvania Humane Society at 412.321.4625
Animal Rescue League at 412.345.7300
Animal Friends at 412.847.7077
Each shelter has a lost & found department where you can register your lost dog or cat.
*The Animal Rescue League has the City of Pittsburgh’s Animal Control contract. If you live within the City of Pittsburgh, your animal may have been brought to them by Animal Control. The ARL houses all city strays for Animal Control. This means if you lost a dog or cat on the Northside and it was picked up by Animal Control, it would be at the Animal Rescue League which is located in the East End of town!
- Be sure to let your neighbors and local vet offices know you are missing your pet. It is also helpful to post fliers with a photo throughout your area in grocery stores, coffee shops, ect.
- Post a lost report with a photo on Facebook and/or Twitter.
- You can register an online lost report on this website.
- Notify your local mail carrier and crossing guards that your pet is lost. Inform anyone who is frequently in your area. Show them a picture of the animal.
- Check on-line sites for postings like CraigsList’s pet section and their lost and found section.
- If you moved recently, your pet could travel back to your previous home. Check with the neighbors around your previous house.
Special tips for finding your lost cat:
- Put an article of clothing with your scent on it or your pet’s favorite bedding outside in a quiet place. Your lost pet might just return to that familiar spot.
- Check hiding places, such as garages, garden sheds & abandoned homes. At dusk, check with flash light under porches and bushes near your home.
- You can contact Animal Friend’s Low Cost Spay Neuter department at (412.847.7004) about cat trap rentals.
- Learn more about lost cat behavior.
Keeping your pet safe next 4th of July:
- Make sure they are wearing a collar and ID tags.
- Get your pet implanted with a microchip that can help identify them if they loose or slip out of their collar. Talk to your vet about this service. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 % and 38% for cats according to petfinder.com.
- Make sure your pet can access a safe place during fireworks. This might be their crate or under the bed.
- Avoid the noise of the fireworks by closing your windows and turning on the radio or tv for them.
Best of luck and don’t loose hope!
lauren @ CLP – Woods Run