Lost pets seem to have their photos posted on social media and show up in shelters daily. So, what is the best strategy for those who have lost a pet? Accidents do happen, even to those with the best intentions, so a loose pet does not necessarily equal a negligent owner. It is important to know that animals can travel far in a short time, so searches should extend beyond the pet’s home street and neighborhood. Here are some tips to help lost pets get back home:
Immediately alert neighbors and canvass the neighborhood. Someone may have brought the animal into his home.
Alert the microchip company.
Distribute fliers with the pet’s photo on them to neighbors, vet offices, groomers and shelters.
File a report with all local animal shelters. Pets from Jefferson Parish may end up at the shelter in Orleans Parish.
Place a classified ad in the newspaper; these are often free.
Place ads on Craigslist and Facebook. Two great Facebook pages for posting your lost pet and searching to see whether someone has posted your pet as found are https://www.facebook.com/NOLAMissingPets and https://www.facebook.com/AnimalRescueNewOrleans.
Check back with the shelters frequently. Do not just call; physically go to the shelters and look.
Don’t give up! Sometimes pets are found weeks, months and even years after they have disappeared.
Pets that have been microchipped and have a collar and tags with updated information have a much better chance of being reunited with their owners.
ADOPTION EVENT: Dogs from Animal Rescue New Orleans and cats from Spaymart will be available for adoption from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at PetSmart, 1000 S. Clearview Pkwy. No. 105, New Orleans. For information, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PET PHOTOS: The Jefferson SPCA will be taking photos of pets and their owners, costumes encouraged, from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Jefferson Feed, 4421 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson. Discs with the photos will cost $20. For information, call (504) 733-8572.
HOWLING SUCCESS GALA: LA/SPCA will hold its Howling Success gala from 8:30 p.m. to midnight Saturday in the Empire Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency, 601 Loyola Ave., New Orleans. A patron party will precede the gala, beginning at 7 p.m. For information, visit la-spca.org/hsfacebook.
CRITTER CINEMA: An overnight Critter Cinema will be held from 4 p.m. Saturday to 9 a.m. Sunday at the Louisiana SPCA, 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., New Orleans, for animal-loving, pizza-eating, movie-watching kids ages 5 to 10. The cost is $65 for an overnight stay or $35 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Preregistration is required. To register, call (504) 368-5191, ext. 207, or email email@example.com. For information, visit www.la-spca.org/crittercinema.
RESTAURANT DONATION: On Tuesday, Zea Rotisserie & Grill, 1121 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey, will donate 10 percent of sales from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. to the Jefferson SPCA for customers who write “Jefferson SPCA” on their guest checks.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animalrescue email@example.com, www.animal rescueneworleans.org or call its recorded information line at (504) 571-1900.