Lost Pet Network - Atlanta Georgia

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Successful Search Help

Time is of the essense. Each hour that passes when your pet goes missing, the chances of recovering her decrease. Do not sit around hoping that your pet will return on her own. You must search proactively and begin as soon as you realize your pet is gone. You're undertaking a major search and may find yourself feeling overwelmed. Your efforts WILL ALWAYS pay off. If you do nothing, or if you give up you might never find your pet or know what became of her. It is better to have done everything possible to recover your pet and not locate her, than to just passively accept defeat.
Pets that have been missing for months, and in a few rare cases - years - have been located and returned to their owners but that's not possible unless you're actively looking for her!

Supply Checklist:
 -  Lots of Large Neon Posterboards (about $1 each).
  - Clear, Plastic Paper 'Sheet Protectors'
  - Thick-Tipped Permanent Parker, Black. (black crayon is okay)
  - Sheet of Blank Type-Writer Paper
  - Push-Tacks and Hammer (or an industrial stapler)
  - Tape (clear scotch tape and masking/duct tape)
  - Sign Stakes
  -  Phone
  -  Flashlight
  -  Comfortable Pair of Walking Shoes.
  -  Access to a Working Printer.
  -  Very detailed satellite or property line Map

When  Your  Pet Cat  Goes  Missing

An indoor-only cat will not usually wander far from the home door, unless she is chased or coaxed.
The unfamiliar outdoors are very intimidating to them and they'll seek a safe place to hide the instant they are startled.
Most lost indoor cats are found no more than 300 ft from home. Rarely will they be more than 500 foot from your door.
An outdoor/indoor cat will be more comfortable roaming further from home, and thus the area to be searched is larger.
The cat could have wandered 3/4 mile away on her own and became disorientated.
An outdoor/indoor cats "familiar territory" normally ranges 50-500 ft in every direction from home, and that is where she will remain unless lost.
An unaltered cat will roam further than one that has been "fixed".
A male tomcat could roam a mile away in a single day if pursuing a mate.
A outdoor/indoor cat might leave her "familiar territory" and become lost if she's chased away by a predator, challenged by an aggressive cat, or even lured away by an unusually tempting prey object.
In unfamiliar territory even a seasoned outdoor cat can become disorientated and frightened.
When a cat is scared and disorientated, she reverts back to her "feral roots - survival mode".
A docile, friendly lap-cat may behave wildly as though she's never even had human contact. Your cat could be mistaken as a stray or possibly run if anyone approaches her.
Depending on the temperament of your lost pet, she will either keep low to the ground and crouch in hidden places, or she will be a "climber".

1.  Thoroughly search and re-search of the perimeter of your home and any outbuildings.
      Call for kitty in a calm, beckoning, normal tone.
      Frantic calls and shouts will only "freak out" the cat more.
      Shake your cats favorite treats or dry food in its container as you call and look.  LISTEN VERY CLOSELY FOR A RESPONSE!
   - Check in basements, crawlspaces, around bushes & shrubs, under cars, in the undercarriage of cars, in boxes, lofts, trash cans, under and   inside of sheds & garages, behind & under machinery, in drainage pipes, playground equipment, woodpiles, beneath porches and decks etc.
   - A fully-grown cat can pack itself into a spot as small as a 2 liter soda bottle and then remain silent. She'll do that if scared.
2.   Search tree tops.
     Cats are natural born climbers, and can scale 100+ ft vertically and then become stuck. They're not so skilled at getting back down.
   - Night-time is a good time to search since it is quieter. A cry from the top of a tall tree will be easier to hear.
   - Shine a flash light into tree tops and look for reflective glow from your cats eyes.
3. Speak to the nearest neighbors on every side of your home.
     Let all your closest neighbors know that your cat is missing, and is probably scared and hiding.
    Ask for permission to check their property in the same manner that you searched your own (above).
    Offer them a flyer with a photo of your cat, its' description, and include your contact information.
4. Notify the nearest vet clinic(s), your postal delivery person(s), trash collector(s), and neighborhood watch person or HOA. Give them flyers.
5. Place your cats litter box, bed, scratch post and food bowls (with food) near the place it exited home.
   The familiar scent will help to lure them back.
6. Time. A scared cat is most likely to come out of hiding at dusk and at dawn. This is an excellent time to do your "call & search".
7. Place large, bright "LOST" poster ad's throughout your neighborhood at intersections and especially at EVERY entrance/exit into the community.
8. Hit the printers, then hit the pavement!
   -Mini-flyers (as shown below) can be attached to the outside of mailboxes throughout your neighborhood. 
   - Do not place anything inside of someone's mailbox. Doing so is illegal in Georgia, plus it might upset a valuable "lookout" person.
   - You'll need tape (or paper clips), and push-tacks to attach your mini-flyers to the exterior of nearby mailboxes, or safer yet, stick it on the mailbox post or in their newspaper slot. 
I strongly recommend canvassing on foot -  This will give you a chance to visually survey the neighborhood, listen attentively, and to speak with others in your neighborhood face-to-face. Offer them mini-flyers with a photo.
Dog walkers, outdoor workers, outdoor enthusiasts, and joggers are excellent people to speak with about your lost pet.
However, speak to anyone you encounter that's willing to listen and offer them a mini-flyer, use common safety sense though.
9. Post online "LOST" ad's. Since you're on this website, you've clearly already began this campaign.
Include a good photo and brief description of your lost cat in the headline. Good places to begin are craigslist, the AJC pets section, petfinder.com, and your local patch.com classifieds section. See the links page for additional posting sites.
10. Fill out a "LOST" form on your local humane society's website. If they do not have a form, call and notify them to be on the lookout for your pet.
11. Fill out another "LOST" form on your local city/county animal shelters website. (see the "Pet Shelters" page for the listing).
After you have filled out an online form, go IN PERSON to the shelter!
Speak with shelter employees, view all of their cats, and ask to see the ones segregated "in the back" too (sick and new intake).
12. Offer a reward. $$$
 Posting an amount is not recommended since it may provoke someone to try to scam you.
Just mentioning a reward with "$$$" signs on your posters and listings will naturally attracts people's attention.
An appropriate reward amount is always at your own discretion.  If told to pay a specific amount by a stranger, watch out!
  - If someone demands a reward in exchange for information regarding your pets whereabouts, or if someone claims to have your pet but refuses to let you see your pet in-person until they're given their reward, you're absolutely right to be skeptical!
 - If someone claims to have possession of your pet, ask them a discerning question about the animal that only someone who actually has the pet would know (and not know from a photo or posting).
   Example: A knick off of the left ear tip, a frayed blue collar without safety release, chipped canine tooth, etc
- Never meet with an informant or pet "finder" alone. Bring along a capable adult friend and only meet in a safe location during daylight. .

When Your Pet Dog Goes Missing

Dogs are governed by different instinctual rules than cats. So, searching for a lost dog is somewhat different than searching for a cat.
1. Indoor-only dogs are not much