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Waste no time trying to locate your lost pet

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As soon as your pet is missing, telephone local shelters, animal control, veterinarians, the police, etc. to report your loss and to see if someone has picked up your pet. Many times, the pet is at the pound or animal shelter, waiting for you.

These contact numbers can be found on the St. Lawrence Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website (www.stlawrencevalleyspca.org) by clicking on “Important Numbers for Pet Owners.”

Thousands of pets go missing around the country every day. Knowing your pet’s personality and the way it reacts towards strangers can tell you how it will respond should it get lost. Personality can also tell you how far from home it’s likely to travel before being rescued.

The Gregarious Pet – When displaced, it will hide at first and then most likely begin to travel. A gregarious pet is friendly and will come up to the first person that attracts its attention.

The Aloof Pet – A pet with an aloof temperament is very wary of strangers and, avoiding any human contact, will travel a great distance from home.

The Xenophobic Pet – Xenophobia is a fear or hatred of anything strange or foreign. A xenophobic pet can travel great distances. A xenophobic pet can be so overcome with terror that it will even run from its owner.

Away from the comforts of home, pets go into survival mode. Typically, dogs will be seen during the day but cats will hide during the day and move around looking for food at dawn and dusk. If an indoor-only cat should get outdoors, it is likely to be nearby unless it has been removed from the area.

It may be necessary, especially with cats, to capture the missing pet with a humane baited trap. Animals have a very keen sense of smell. If you use a baited trap, line it with towels that have a familiar “home smell” to entice it to go inside.

Don’t inhibit your chances of finding your pet by having a “wait and see” attitude. Start searching immediately. Don’t give up too quickly—it could take weeks or months for your pet to be recovered.

More next week, but in the meantime, become your own pet detective.

FINDING YOUR LOST PET

Website: www.homeagain.com

Click on “Pet Rescuers” on the yellow line at the top of the home page.

Go to “Tips & Training — Learn Tips & Training” at the bottom right corner of the page.

Click on “Pet Detective Training: Learn from a Professional — Get Professional Training.”

Karen Cunningham is president of the St. Lawrence Valley Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

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