Don’t panic if your dog, cat, rabbit bird or pot-bellied pig has gone AWOL. As large as Calgary is, there’s an underground network of animal lovers ready to keep an eye out for your furry or feathered friend. In fact, according to the City of Calgary Animal Services division, we have the highest rate of returned pets in the country. All you need to do is start spreading the word.
Steps you can take to find your lost pet
- FOCUS: The first thing to do once you’ve discovered your pet has escaped from your custody is to remain calm. Panic only prevents you from thinking clearly and it’s important to slow down, think about what has occurred and plan your next step. To achieve this, start taking deep breaths so that your brain will start thinking rationally again. Go backwards through your mind and think about the last time you had your animal and consider the places in your neighbourhood that your pet is familiar with. Was your pet wearing a collar with tags or a tattoo? Can you retrieve those papers upon which their tattoo might be located? Depending on how long your pet has been gone for will dictate your next course of action.
- LOOK: If you believe it’s only been moments, start a search and enlist the help of nearby people, perhaps people your pet knows and will come to. Those folks who your pet doesn’t know well can do other activities like making phone calls, posting online and making posters.
- POST: Social Media is a great place to start because it’s instant and be far reaching if your pet has been gone a while. There is no official lost pet registry online but there are a number of Facebook groups you can post to instantly, such as Lost Dogs in Calgary and YYC Pet Recovery with over 22,000 members. Not only can you post but you can check comments from others who post found animals or post the Calgary neighbourhood in which they’ve seen a stray wandering. Twitter is another good bet. Mayor Nenshi is known to retweet posts of lost pets if he’s tagged in your Tweet. You can also check @PetRecoveryYYC or tag them in a Tweet.
- ONLINE: You can also check Kijiji or Craig’s List online. You can also check on the Animal Services Website for photos of dogs and cat they’ve picked up during the day. The website is updated every 15 minutes during the day. The Calgary Humane Society also has a page with photos of lost pets that are in their custody.
- VISIT: If it’s been several hours or even a day you can check in person at the City of Calgary Animal Services Building at 2201 Portland Street which is usually open between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm. You can also visit the Calgary Humane Society at 4455 – 110 Ave SE.
- VETS: Call the veterinarian clinics in your area and ask them to keep a look out for your pet. Often people who are able to get a lost animal to come to them but are unable to keep it in their home for safekeeping will take it to a vet rather than call the pound.
- RESCUES: Reach out to some of the smaller animal rescue organizations such as AARF.
- TEMPT THEM: This is something to try if your pet is new to you or if you are perhaps fostering an animal who may be scared. Often they have items with a scent that is familiar to them, such as a pet, a blanket or pillow – perhaps a toy. Even their leash might have a familiar scent. Food for a hungry pet works. Put them outside your home or even get a trap and put these items in the trap if you can borrow one.
- POSTERS: This is something people can help you with. Distribute a photo of your pet via email, text or social media and have someone create a poster to be hung on lamp posts in the neighbourhood.
- CALL: The City of Calgary at 311 can connect you to Animal Services. If the unlikely and very unfortunate circumstance is the demise of your pet because of an accident on city roads, this information may be available by calling 311.