Driving down the road with the window cracked and your dog happily nosing the breeze may sound like the ideal vacation, but what happens when something takes a turn for the worst? You are in the middle of an area where you and your pet are unfamiliar, and suddenly your furry companion takes off and is gone. Or worse, you arrive at your destination on the airplane, only your pet was rerouted to a different location. What can you do if you lose your pet while traveling?
Precautions to Take Before You Leave
First, you need to realize that losing your pet on vacation is absolutely a possibility, so take several precautions before you leave. Make sure your pet is wearing ID tags, and consider having him microchipped in case the tags are lost. Have the microchip programmed with your cell phone number, so you can be contacted even while traveling. Carry a recent photograph of your pet and a list of his distinguishing markings so you can help local people look for him should he take off.
What to Do if You Lose Your Pet
If the unthinkable happens and your pet takes off at a rest stop or on a walk, start by contacting the local animal control or humane society. Give them a copy of that current photograph and your contact information. This will allow them to get in contact with you should your pet be turned in. visit the local shelter as well a few times before you head home to ensure that your information was not overlooked.
You may want to contact the local police as well. The police are not going to go on patrol looking for a lost pet, but they may be willing to keep an eye out for him. It cannot hurt to ask.
Use the photograph to post reward signs with a picture of your pet, and consider putting an ad in the local paper. Keep in mind that you will want to use a cell phone for this so that people can contact you even after you head home, provided your pet is not found by that time.
If you can access the Internet, check pet finding sites, like petfinder.com or pets911 to see if your lost friend has been posted. Keep in mind that it can take a while to find a lost animal, but you should start checking right away, and check regularly as these sites are updated daily.
If Your Pet Is Lost by an Airline
Pets are sometimes lost by airlines. If possible, carry your pet on board with you to avoid this potential risk. If you arrive at your destination and your pet does not, talk to airline officials immediately. The sooner you begin tracking down your pet’s location, the better your chances of a successful solution to your situation. This is a very dangerous situation, as you do not want your pet left without proper food and water for too long, so be as aggressive as possible in insisting that the airline finds your pet.