The Top Five Reasons Lost Pets Are Not Found
Shawn Dienhart, May 2019
Failure to Take Action
There's always a specific reason why a pet went missing. Whatever the reason, often times the owner will assume the pet will come back on its own.
Unfortunately this is not the case, and the longer you wait to take action the harder it will be to find your pet. Actions to to find your pet should begin the
moment you have that instinct or gut feeling that it is missing and cannot be readily found. It doesn't matter if it's the middle of the night with bad weather, or a
sunny afternoon, "now" is the time to take action.
Actions Taken are Often Incorrect
When a pet goes missing we naturally want to start yelling its name and calling him or her home. This may be fine if the pet is very close to home and
missing for a very brief period of time, but it's just one example of an incorrect action if the pet has been missing for hours or days and is thought to be away
from its normal range of travel. When a pet is away from home it will be scared, and your yelling will scare it further away. It's much better to speak calmly and
use something other than the pets name to call it to you (e.g. "here I am, come to me"). Dogs and cats can hear better than we can and if they're
anywhere close they'll hear you just fine.
Failure to Follow Through
It's always difficult to witness a pet owner give up on a search too early, often in just a few days. This usually occurs because of the combination of factors,
such as sadness, frustration, and a sense of despair. Having a plan and the skills to conduct an effective search will replace these factors with actions and persistence,
greatly increasing the odds of a successful recovery of your pet.
Lack of Planning
Having a simple plan is the best step you can take to ensure your pet returns home should it ever go missing. I've created the plan for you which includes an
over-arching strategy with detailed techniques and tools. Most pet owners will choose a simplified plan using just a few of the techniques and tools, but
advanced skills are provided for those that either need them or want to study them in order to help others recover lost pets.
Getting The Wrong Help
It's only natural that family, friends and perhaps people in your community want to help find your lost pet. Unless they are specifically skilled in doing so, they
can become part of the problem rather than the solution with finding your pet (e.g. yelling for your pet, chasing after your pet). If this is the case, the best that others can do on your behalf is to help put up posters and be observant for your pet and take no other action except to report sightings. There are many "professional" services you can find online. They range from "pet detectives" to robo calls to your neighbors informing them that your pet is lost. Some of these services are effective, while the majority of them are either ineffective or pure scams. Know how to tell one from the other by reading through the techniques section.