With many COVID restrictions lifted and great weather arriving in New Jersey, we all want to go out and about with our pets. Unfortunately, this also increases the risk of losing them. Our pets are our furry children and we want to help you and your pet stay safe. Read on to find out what to do in case your pet accidentally escapes your home or leash.
Ways to Prevent
First, we need to understand ways to prevent this from happening in the first place as we want to keep our pets safe. The easiest way to make sure that your pet is safe when outside, is to have the right walking equipment.
One of the most common mistakes made by pet owners is using a regular, non-tightening collar for walks. While this is a great tool to hold onto your pet’s identification and rabies tags, it is not to be used for walks as your pet can easily back out of it and slip away.
Even the most well-trained pets can still become spooked on a walk so don’t take any chances, especially with Fourth of July fireworks upon us. We recommend visiting your local pet store to explore its martingale collar, quality harness, and slip lead options.
Read More: A List of Dog-Friendly Places in Montclair
Walks are not the only way a pet can escape though. Many pets slip out of an open door or slightly ajar gate. Work on training your pet to stay away from the door when the doorbell rings or a guest knocks. Staying away from the “danger zone” will help ensure your pet remains inside even when it has the chance to go outside. Also, make sure to practice recall with your pet frequently. Making sure your pet is trained to come when called in even the most distracting of situations is a great tool for keeping your pet safe.
In addition, you can add secondary security options to doors and gates like storm doors, gate locks, etc. to make sure that there are multiple safety measures between your pet and its escape route.
Please also make sure your dogs and cats are microchipped. This ensures that, even if it loses its identification tags, someone will be able to identify it with a quick scan.
What to Do If It Happens
If you have taken all the precautions you can think of to keep your pet by your side but it still escapes, there are steps you should take and people and places you should contact to increase the chances of its safe return. Read on to learn more.
What to Post + Where
When a pet is lost, agencies and the community need specific information on the lost pet flyer to best assist in the search. All flyers should include but are not limited to:
- – Pet’s name
- – Pet’s species
- – Pet’s sex
- – Pet’s breed
- – Pet’s coloring
- – Pet’s distinctive markings and/or medical notes (ie: blind, deaf, has brown patch around eye, etc.)
- – What the pet was wearing (ie: red collar, blue leash)
- – Pet’s microchip number
- – Where the pet was last seen
- – Name and contact information of the owner
- – A note saying, “DO NOT CHASE. IF FOUND, PLEASE CONTACT OWNER IMMEDIATELY.”
Without all of this relevant information, it is difficult for people to properly identify your lost pet and for them to know what to do when/if they catch it.
A lot of people will want to help in the recapturing but may cause more harm than good by chasing the scared pet. If you or anyone you know comes across one, do not chase it. If you have something of value on you – like food, try to call the pet’s name and offer it to them.
Lost pets are naturally scared and you need to make them come to you rather than you go to them. Chasing can cause pets to run into traffic or other areas that decrease the ability to get them home safely. Make sure to contact the owner and the police when you see a lost pet so that they can work together for its safe return.
Social media is a great tool for finding the best new restaurant and connecting with old friends but it is also super helpful for finding your furry best friend when it’s lost. There are many pet groups in our area that you should join and post in if your pet is lost. Here are some:
- – Lost Pets of Northern New Jersey
- – New Jersey – Lost Dogs, Cats & Pets
- – Dog Lovers In Cedar Grove, Verona, Montclair, and North Caldwell
Besides social media, you need to call all of the local veterinary offices, the police, and animal control to report your pet missing. Include all of the information from the flyer in your report and also go in person to ask if you can post the flyer in the offices. You can also hang flyers in local businesses to help get the word out.
Who to Contact
Here are some of the numbers to the veterinarians, police, and animal control in your area:
- – Montclair Police non-emergency number: (973) 744-1234
- – Bloomfield Police non-emergency number: (973) 680-4141
- – Glen Ridge non-emergency number: (973) 748-5400
- – Verona non-emergency number: (973) 239-5000
- – Cedar Grove non-emergency number: (973) 239-4100
- – Clifton non-emergency number: (973) 470-5900
- – Montclair: (973) 744-8600
- – Clifton: (973) 470-5761
- – West Orange: (973) 325-4121
- – Brookside Veterinary Clinic: (973) 748-6897
- – Cameron Animal Hospital: (973) 744-2052
- – Cedar Grove Animal Hospital: 973-239-3500
- – Essex Animal Hospital: 973-358-0535
- – Katz & Dogs Animal Hospital: (973) 509-7297
- – Marsh Hospital for Animals: (973) 239-0774
- – Montclair Animal Hospital: (973) 744-1942
- – Prospect Ridge Animal Hospital: (973) 736-7810
- – Valley Animal Hospital: (973) 509-5225
- – Verona Animal Hospital: (973) 239-1881
- – Well Pet Animal Hospital: (973) 239-1062
- – West Orange Animal Hospital: (973) 731-1222
In addition, you can call a local trapping company to help in the recovery of your lost pet like Buddha Dog Rescue and Recovery, an experienced, 501 C-3 non-profit animal rescue organization that has helped save the lives of many lost pets. You can submit a request for assistance here.
Losing your pet is a very scary situation. Being prepared before it happens gives you the best chance of bringing home your furry friend safe and sound.