Let’s face it.
Life’s not perfect. If it were:
1) There would be never a time when you go to the bathroom and the toilet paper is out.
2) Your dog’s fart would smell like roses, every time.
3) You would never hit a red light at the intersection while driving, or any traffic on the highway … like in LA (yes, that was a joke)
Unfortunately, life isn’t perfect and things sometimes just don’t go the way you planned.
Just like when your pet goes missing.
As July 4th weekend passes, you’ll notice a lot more “Missing Cat/Dog” signs all over your neighborhood.
And it’s no mystery: dogs and cats are quite afraid of fireworks.
The most common thing people do to find their pet? Posters, flyers, and of course, check the shelter.
But here are several steps I have personally taken to find a friend’s dog after New Year’s Eve
1) Post on Craigslist
Yeap, believe it or not. This is about 10,000x more effective, faster, AND cheaper than the traditional flyers and posters.
Key to getting the most “views” by the craigslist community?
a) Be as DESCRIPTIVE as possible:
– what: dog’s name, what he looks like, any special markings
– where: where was your pet lost and what neighborhoods does your pet frequent
– how: how exactly was your pet lost
– anything interesting about your pet: special traits, markings, etc.
b) Use PICTURES
Pictures are worth a 1000.. no.. 1,000,000 words. Don’t be stingy. Post any many as you can.
c) Include a phone number, NOT just an email
Phone will NEVER replace email as the fastest form of communication.
Don’t be shy about putting your phone number. And if you’re worried about privacy…
1) come on, get REAL. it’s your beloved PET.
2) seriously, you ain’t special. No one’s gonna stalk you. Relax.
And if some telemarketer calls you, you can always ask them to kindly remove your number from their list otherwise face the wrath of FTC down their throat.
One time, I had a telemarketer trying to sell his “pet detective” service to me. $500 up front.
If that happens to you, you can say something along the line of
You: Oh you wanna capitalize on my desperation? How about instead you plant tulips.
You: Plant tu-lips on my ASS.
I digress. Oh, what was I saying?
Oh yeah, make sure to post in BOTH lost & found AND pet section.
You gotta be careful as to not post EXACT same stuff in both section, otherwise those trigger happy craiglist people will click on “spam/duplicate content” button and BOTH your listings will come down.
2) Ask your friends to SHARE the Craiglist post on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, or wherever your friends “hang out”.
Remember, the more exposure you have.. the better the chance.
Here’s the thing: because of the nature of these social media, you have to RE-POST every couple of hours otherwise your post will get pushed down eventually and no one will see your stuff.
So don’t worry about whether or not your friends think it’s annoying that you’re re-posting.
If your friends are annoyed about you caring for your beloved pet and wanting to have a piece of your life back safe, then they’re probably not your real friends anyway. (Yes, make some new friends!)
Point here is to
spam share your post with your friends AND ask them to re-share (facebook and twitter make this super easy to do so).
3) Search Craigslist
Yeap. Just because you have posted doesn’t mean that the people who might have found your pet actually read it.
You have to diligently go through the listings (both in pets AND lost & found section).
4) Search websites where people go to report lost pets
Although their data is not as up to date or as extensive as people posting on craigslist, it is worthwhile to try
- Pet Finder
- Pet Harbor
- Your local humane society or animal shelter – Go to your favorite search engine and type “
animal shelter” or “ animal shelter”.. or “ ASCPA”. For example, “New York City animal shelter”
Don’t expect these sites to have their data up to date since they get swamped with lost pet info, especially on days that are known for fireworks (JUly 4th, New Years, etc.)
5) Usual low tech methods
- Visit the local animal shelter right when they open AND righ before they close – The animal control people drop off lost pets in batches, so there’s no point in going there every hour or staying there
- Instead of posters, try sending flyer to every house in your neighborhood (or whatever vicinity you think your pet might have covered).
- Walk and shout your pet’s name – Yes, this sounds “primitive” but would you rather look primitive/foolish, or would you rather find your pet?
- Ask any and EVERY stranger (in the general vicinity) if they have seen your pet or might know anyone who may have seen your pet.
Most importantly, stay CALM and be persistent.
The more you freak out, the more you will stress out. The more you stress out, the faster you will lose energy.
Remember to stay calm and focus, and be persistent.
Your pet is waiting patiently for you to find it.
Don’t expect this to be easy.
Don’t expect this to be a walk in the park.
Don’t expect people to know how you feel (because they won’t)
Do be relentless
Do ask for lots of help to lots of people
Do stay hydrated and eat every couple of hours (you will constantly be on the move)
Do hope for the best (meditate .. or pray if you believe in God)
I have personally experienced a lost of a beloved dog, and it’s probably one of the most trying experiences of my life.
With the right mind, the right attitude, and the right strategy, you WILL once again be reunited with your love.
I hope for the best for you and your family,