What to do when you lose (or find) a pet in CY

By Sarah Frierson

It is one of my biggest fears. One of these days one of my animals is going to make their great escape. My little Houdini of a cat tries to escape every time I open a door. I swear I am good to her; she just has outdoor aspirations that I don’t quite understand. And all of my neighbors have probably intercepted my dog at one point or another (yeah, sorry about that!). But the reality is that animals will get loose and sometimes it takes the help of the community to get a pet safely home.

Prepare for the great escape
Check your tags. All pet owners know that they need to keep up-to-date tags on their pets, but a reminder never hurts. If you don’t have a tag for your animal or if you just need to update the information, lots of pet stores can make them quickly and cheaply. I know that the Petco at Poplar and Highland has a vending machine where you can make your own in a matter of minutes. I suspect other stores have them as well.
Microchip your cat or dog. If your animals are anything like mine, they have devised ingenious ways of escaping their collars. In the event that Houdini gets out without a tag on, I know that she can still be identified with her chip. Animal shelters and veterinary offices routinely scan all animals that are brought in as lost, so microchipping ensures that your loved one doesn’t end up being adopted to another family or…well, no need to discuss that. Just microchip your pets, please!
Take a photo. Make sure you have a clear photo of each of your animals so that it can be used for identification.
Take advantage of the new CY Pet Registry, flickr.com/photos/cysafety/sets/. We are creating a Flickr gallery of CY pets and their contact information. Eventually it will include galleries for dogs, cats, other animals, currently lost, and currently found. This way if you find an animal, you can flip through the gallery and locate the contact information for that animal’s owner. If you would like to add your pets to the Registry, please send a photo and the contact information you would like displayed to info@cooperyoung.org. Feel free to include as little or as much as you would like (description, medical needs, etc.), but there must be at least one way to contact the owner (address, phone number, email).

What to do if you lose your pet:
• Contact your block club captain to let your immediate neighbors know.
• Send an email and photo to info@cooperyoung.org. We will add your animal to the Flickr
• gallery and distribute the message via our website.
• Call local veterinary offices and shelters. The Memphis Animal Shelter requests that you
• come by in person daily to ensure your animal is not among the strays.
• Utilize the web. Sites like Facebook and Craigslist are free and are easy ways to let people
• know about your search.
• Place flyers or posters in high traffic areas and vet offices.

What to do if you find a pet:
• Check for tags, tattoos, or microchips. If the animal does not have tags, look for a tattoo.
• Some animals have a tattoo on their abdomen, inner thigh, or ear. Take the animal to a
• local shelter or vet to check for a microchip.
• Find a safe and secure temporary home for the animal while you search for its owner. If
• you do not have a fenced in yard and do not want to keep an animal inside, check with
• neighbors or contact a local vet or shelter.
• Send an email and photo to your block club captain and info@cooperyoung.org. We will
• add your animal to the Flickr gallery and distribute the message via our website.
• Utilize the web (see above).
• Place flyers or posters in high traffic areas and vet offices.

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