Poulsbo Animal Clinic

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July is National Lost Pet Prevention Month

National Lost Pet Prevention Month was created because of the epidemic of lost pets filling shelters on the day after Independence Day fireworks. Frightened pets bolt—and the idea was to increase awareness so that fewer pets end up lost.

It’s not just a July 5th problem, however: The American Humane Association reports that more than 10 million pets are lost in the U.S. each year, and that only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats in shelters without ID tags or microchips are reunited with their owners.

The most important way to prevent a heartbreaking loss is to make sure your pet is always wearing identification—or at the very least, microchipped. If your pet should become lost, here are some steps to take that will hopefully help get them back home to you sooner:

Call the microchip provider to verify they have current info on your pet.

Create lost pet posters with a clear, full-body picture of your pet.

Share your pet’s picture and where last seen on social media and ask your friends and family to share it.

Call your local shelters, animal control and veterinary offices and inform them of your pet’s loss. Most shelters keep a running list of lost and found pets.

Time is important—if your pet has only been missing for a short period of time, mobilize your friends and family to go looking on foot, which is more effective than in a vehicle.

Leave worn clothes and food at your door or any other entrances a pet might use so they can catch the scent if they’re nearby.

Beware of scammers. If they cannot describe your pet beyond what is on the flyer or they don’t want to show an image of the pet, steer clear.

Search until found. Keep visiting shelters, keep asking around the neighborhoods, and keep posting flyers. There are pets out there that have been reunited with their owners months after they went missing. Don’t give up and your pet will thank you!