By Jackie Kellum
Regardless of the best of intentions, our pets sometimes get out of the house and are lost. This can happen even to a pet which has been classified as a ‘an inside house only’ pet, or a pet which has never run away before. It CAN happen. Prevention is the first action to be taken. Take and keep a recent picture of your pet in case you need to make a lost cat/dog poster. Despite being an ‘inside’ pet, have your pet wear a collar with an ID tag at all times. ID tags are inexpensive to have made, and it can help facilitate a quicker recovery.
The following places make pet ID tags: The LFA pet food store, Vet. Memo on Constitution in Ajijic, the pet food store next to Soriano, the pet food store next to Café Magana restaurant and the pet food store in West Ajijic on the Carretera. No matter where you live, you can find a place close to you where you can have one made. On the tag list the essentials: your phone number and Recompensa! (Reward). If you can take your pet on a walk in your immediate neighborhood, it may help him know where his house is located.
In the event your pet gets out, time is of the essence in starting the search. Do not wait a long period of time in hopes he will reappear. Call your friends, talk with neighbors, especially your neighborhood kids – they see everything, and let them know of our lost pet. Spread the word! While you are walking in your neighborhood, call your pet’s name, and stop and speak with every person you encounter. The more people that know about your lost pet, the more likely the one person who spots your pet will call you.
Make posters and fliers. Keep it simple: “LOST DOG (or cat)!” Info should include: a recent photograph, indicate where [cross/streets / city - not your address] and when [date] the pet was last seen, a phone number and Reward! Visit and distribute fliers to all your neighbors, veterinary clinics, rescue shelters, grooming places, large stores with bulletin boards, and pet supply stores in your area. Post a lost dog notice with your pet’s picture on local web boards, such as the Chapala.com web-board. Give stacks of flyers to friends and family and have them go door to door. Provide flyers to local people like the gas delivery man, the garbage pick-up men, water delivery men, etc., and anyone else you know who gets around the neighborhood in their daily routines.
On an on-going basis check local web boards to see if anyone has posted a notice that they have found a dog that might sound like yours. Keep visiting the shelters with the picture of your pet. You might find someone you haven’t talked to before who has information. Also, check where you posted your flyers to make sure they’re still there and haven’t been covered or removed.
Do not give up! Keep working on the search until there is a hopefully happy reunion. And when you have your pet back at home, after all the joyful hugs, share your glad tidings with your friends, neighbors, searchers, update your web board postings and remove the lost posters. The next article will review helpful information in the event you find a dog.
Anita’s Animals is a kitten/cat and puppy/dog sanctuary located in San Juan Cosala. Donations of pet food and money helps pay for vet care, vaccinations, spaying-neutering and the continuation of this rescue work that Anita has done for over twenty years. www.anitasanimals.com