Posted by: | June 8, 2011

Lost Pets


Anywhere you go, it seems you can never escape them.  They are located on lampposts, stoplights, traffic signs, fences, mailboxes, telephone poles, grocery stores, local libraries, school bulletin boards, anywhere and everywhere people commonly pass by.

Lost Pet Signs are posted somewhere near you every single day.  Why?  Because someone lost a dear friend and family member, someone they love very much and would give almost anything to have back home safely where they can be hugged and cuddled with all night long.  We see these signs so often that some people have actually grown immune to the feelings of sympathy, empathy, anxiety, sadness and panic these signs should immediately invoke.

How do these pets become lost?  What can we do to prevent this from happening?  What should we do when we see Lost Pet signs?

Pets become “lost” for many different reasons.  It can be as simple as someone forgetting to close a door or gate, or a frightened pet running away out of panic.  Some cat owners let their cats “roam” outdoors, and simply never see them again.  Some dog owners choose to ignore local leash laws and as a result, their dogs run away.  More than 5 million pets are lost in the U.S. each year, and these are only the ones being reported.  It’s vital that pet owners work to prevent these things from happening.

There are many things we can do to help avoid these situations.

Make sure your pets burn off their energy.  If your dog is receiving the proper amount of daily exercise, it should be too tired to want to explore past the door.  Depending on the age, size and breed of your dog, it should need between two to four walks daily.   It’s important to make sure these needs are being met.

If you wear your cat out by playing with it’s favorite laser pointer, it will be less likely to dart out the door looking for birds.  There are many great cat toys out on the market now.  Most cats love to hunt and chase.  If you can tire them out by doing all of the hunting and chasing indoors, the chance of them escaping to the outside world will be greatly reduced.

There are many tools available to assist us should our pets become lost.  Collars and tags, microchipping, tattooing, etc.  These options are available to pet owners, and can be extremely valuable in this situation.  I can’t tell you how many times I personally have helped rescue pets I’ve found wondering lost.  Having collars with the pet and owner’s information have helped me tremendously.  There are even internet based associations to assist with lost pets such as,,,, and  I encourage all pet owners to learn more about these resources in case they may need to utilize them in the future.

What to do?

When you see a lost pet sign, I recommend calling the number immediately.  Yes, even if you don’t have the time.  If it were your pet, you would want as much assistance as possible.

Sometimes the pet has already been found and returned home.  Then you can take the sign down and dispose of it.  If not, try to get as much information as possible and look in the area where it was last seen.  I also recommend taking a picture of the sign (with the contact information), and posting it on Facebook and Twitter.  I can testify that social media has helped me recover lost pets in my neighborhood.

Awareness is the key.  It’s important to pay attention to every pet you see, and the location and time you last saw it.  In my city, it is required that all dogs outside of their home be on a leash.  This is to help avoid conflict or any anxious, nervous or frightened dogs from running away.  Every time I see a dog without a leash, as a concerned citizen, it is my responsibility to investigate.  I will approach the dog to make sure the dog has an owner, and will be going home safely.


Thanks for caring!


Tim Heise
– Certified Pet Care Specialist
Absolute Pet Care, LLC
Scottsdale, AZ








  1. I never heard of ‘tattooing’ pets. My two cats are microchipped, but I never thought of having them tattooed. I’ll look into this.

    Reaching out on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook are fast and easy ways to ‘spread’ the message that a pet is lost. People can follow tweets and status updates to help find missing pets or to report when pets are found.

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