I’ve been working with my nonprofit animal welfare group, Central Georgia CARES, almost since I was born. That’s nearly eight years I’ve been promoting animals and folks who love them.
My job consists of lots of fun duties and some not so much fun. Maybe I should’ve asked to see my job description before I signed up.
One of my not so fun jobs is searching for lost pets and trying to locate families of found pets. It’s a heart-wrenching task and sometimes we’re successful and, sadly, sometimes we’re not.
I have noticed a trend over the years I want to share with you in hopes of reducing the number of lost pets. My experience has shown an increase of lost pets from Friday afternoon through Sunday night.
It seems so many pets are lost on weekends when families are out of town and the pet’s in the care of someone else. It seems especially true for pets left at their own homes with someone designated to visit them over the weekend.
There’ve been several cases recently where pets were found on Friday or Saturday that I’ve helped publicize. In most cases, my wonderful Facebook friends shared my posts and families were found on Sunday night when they returned home from their travels and discovered their beloved pets missing.
I can only imagine the terror of coming home Sunday night from a delightful weekend out of town expecting to see a wagging tail or hear joyful purring only finding no one there to greet you. Unfortunately, I have dealt with these panic-stricken families and it’s heartbreaking.
So before you plan your next trip out of town please take the safety and security of your pet into consideration. Please take steps to make sure he doesn’t disappear and find himself in danger while you’re gone.
First put legible identification tags on your pet. I’ve lost count of the number of pets found who have collars but no tags. If you’re reluctant for your pet to wear them please write your information on his collar with a sharpie. Then have him microchipped.
The next most important thing is to have someone you trust and you know is reliable to care for him at your house. And that person may not necessarily be your relative. Just because someone’s related to you doesn’t mean they’re the best person to babysit your fur child.
Have the babysitter stay on the same routine your pet is accustomed to. If he eats breakfast at 7 a.m. have the babysitter there then to feed, provide companionship and exercise. A tired pet will be less likely to run away.
Instruct the babysitter to alert you immediately if the pet is missing. And always have current photographs of your pet in the event you must quickly make flyers to post if your pet is missing.
With warm weather here and the school year winding down more folks will be planning trips. Please let the safety of your pet be at the top of your list when making your plans. There’s nothing that can ruin a beautiful vacation quicker than having your cherished pet disappear while you’re gone.
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