It seems like there have been so many missing pets over the past few months. We are happy that folks will utilize the Facebook page of the Central Aroostook Humane Society to send us a photo, description, area lost and contact information. We have many faithful followers, and it only takes a short time for people to respond to and share our posts. That helps to get the word out quickly, and the chances greatly improve in finding a missing or lost pet.
One of our followers, Cheri M. Rea, posted some tips when dealing with a missing pet.
Check in trees, under bushes, sheds, decks and porches. Ask neighbors to check their garages and cellars. Cats especially can quickly resort back to wild ways, and even the friendliest cats will run off if approached or called for, especially when in survival mode. They are most active at dusk and dawn, will likely lay low during daylight and may seek out shelter in inclement weather. Indoor-only cats usually stay close to home. They may hide silently for hours or even days, only coming out at night in search of food. Indoor/outdoor cats may lose their bearings and may lose their way home if spooked by something. Outdoor access cats may be trapped somewhere, such as a shed, garage or basement and unable to get home; so definitely talk to your neighbors. Post lots of posters/flyers-distribute to neighbors, post at every intersection, post at stores, vet offices, parks, farm stands, etc.
Leave out food, water and something with a familiar scent if you can (bedding, clothing, toys etc.).
Some rescue groups advise against leaving out litterboxes; it can attract other animals and predators and can actually deter a missing pet away if another cat deposits their scent in the litterbox.
A trail/wildlife game camera can be helpful to see if your pet is eating food left out. Notify local shelters, veterinarians and animal control officers. Leaving out something with a familiar scent may draw him or her back. Make sure to leave out food and water to keep your pet in one location and prevent them from searching elsewhere for food.
Searching quietly at night with a flashlight may be helpful; their eyes will reflect back light from a flashlight.
A Have-a-Heart trap is also a good idea that may help in your pet returning safely.
Be sure to contact the shelter when your pet is found, hopefully safe and sound.
Be sure to stop by the Central Aroostook Humane Society to check out what pets are available.
Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board of directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.