“I hate to be obvious," added the Scarecrow, "but you'd have saved yourself a heap of trouble if you weren't too cheap to invest in a leash, Dorothy.” Gregory Maguire
Strategy: A high-level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty
Some may ask, "Why have a strategy? Why not just start looking for the lost pet, no need to waste time trying to complicate things." The answer is, because having considered in advance the best techniques and tools to find and recover a lost pet by using proven methods is much more effective compared to having no plan. The strategy is a well thought out plan for actions to take as described in the detailed techniques. This "plan and implement" eliminates common mistakes made, which could have terrible consequences. Improvising actions after a pet goes missing wastes valuable time, time that should be used to find and recover the lost pet using the described techniques and tools.
The strategy includes seven major steps as summarized below, initially conducted in the order shown and then as needed. Each has a corresponding technique with details for implementation.
Collecting facts pertinent to the missing pet is a process of going through the classic who, what, when, where, why and how questions. These will vary depending on the search dynamics, but you can expect eighty percent of the questions will apply to all searches. When a pet owner realizes that your main objective is the recovery of their pet, it will result in gaining more information and facts about pets disappearance and subsequent recovery.
Conduct a Search
Initially a cursory search is conducted to determine the pets "normal" territory as obtained from the owner. With the information in hand, double the distance provided and start the cursory search (e.g. if the owner says their dog has never been beyond the end of the block, search at least two blocks in all directions). An expanded search will be conducted as more information is gathered.
The importance of this action cannot be overstated. While contacting people during the initial cursory search is important, you'll find that contacting people and interviewing them is an ongoing action and key to successful recovery efforts.
This action is about making sure the search area and beyond is saturated with multiple forms of communication about the missing pet. The first and most effective action is to make physical posters and place them densely around the pets normal territory x2 as an immediate action.
Mapping is one of the strongest tools for locating a missing pet. It is also a unique attribute to the Strategic Pet Recovery process. The mapping is "comprehensive" because it includes nearly all elements and aspects of the search on a map. Starting with your initial findings and then updated each day with new information, the map will provide evidence of the most likely location of the missing pet.
When sufficient information is gathered to anticipate the location of the pet, it is then secured by one of three methods.
Even with a pet successfully recovered and safe at home, the work is not over yet. Follow-up actions include, but aren't limited to, cleaning up after yourself, thanking others for their help, lessons learned to improve your skills for your next mission, and preparing to go at it again.