Losing your furry companion is an absolute nightmare. You can do your best to prevent it ( read our last weeks blog to learn how) but in case it ever happens that your pet gets lost, take a deep breath and follow these simple steps that can help you reunite with your pet and possibly save their lives:
1. Don't Panic
Even if you are terrified and sad, try to remain calm. Now is not the time to panic or cast blame but to put together a plan to find your companion.
2. Act immediately and involve everybody you know
Start your search immediately and involve everybody you can get: Family, friends, neighbors. Involve them in their search and give them specific tasks (pet shops/vets to check, flyers to hand out etc.)
3. Search around your house
Get out and call for your pet by name. Enlist family and friends to canvas the entire neighborhood. Don’t try to predict where your pet could or wouldn’t have gone - you can't really know. The best time to call for your pet is at night, and at dawn. Carry treats with you in case you need to coax or soothe a scared pet. On your way tell EVERYONE you meet and once you have flyers, hand them out.
4. Make posters/ flyers offering a $$$ reward
The flyer should contain: LOST DOG in big letters, Dog’s Name, Last Seen, A photo, preferably in color, Dog breed if specific enough to be useful, Collar and chip info, Your name, phone number, email address, REWARD ( Put $$$ but do not specify amount unless it's very high)
Give the flyers to everybody
. Put them in your neighborhoods streets, coffeeshops, Dekkens, Mankoushe places, pet shops, vets and any place populated by fellow pet owners.
5. Lure them back to the last place you saw them
Another way to get your pet back is to entice them back to where they were lost. For instance, if you lost a dog in a heavily wooded area, it’s smart to take a piece of clothing that you’ve been wearing for at least 24 hours and tie it to a tree close to the spot where you last saw them. If the dogs/cat has a crate or familiar toy, it would be wise to leave it there as well, along with a bowl of water, being that your pal probably is very thirsty. Do not leave food, because it will attract other animals. Check a day later and hopefully your pet will be there waiting for you as it is now a familiar-smelling spot.
6. Post in all Facebook groups and possibly the newspaper
Post a photo and all the info that's on the flyer (or the flyer itself) to each of the following Lebanese facebook groups:
Help Animals in Lebanon
Adopting a Pet in Lebanon
Help and Adopt Animals in Lebanon
Adopt Animals in Lebanon
Animal Rescue and Adoption Beirut
Also send a message to APAF
to post about your lost pet, fill this form
on the website of Animals Lebanon and contact Beta
about your lost dog.
Possibly even put an add in one of the newspapers.
7. Call all the vets
Contact vets and shelters in your area and tell them about your lost pet. Stop by as many of them as you can to leave your flyer there, visible for them and everyone coming there to see.
8. Check OLX, pet shops and Souk al Ahad
Sadly many dogs and cats get stolen and sold. Check OLX
every few hours, stop by as many pet shops as you can (leave flyers there too) and check markets where pets are sold like Souk al Ahad. Also a number of facebook groups and websites allow people to sell dogs:
Buy and Sell Dogs in Lebanon
Dogs and Cats in Lebanon
9.Don't give up too fast
Keep expanding your search as the days pass and don't give up. Some pets are found after weeks or even months. Many people who find dogs or cats don’t know what to do with them, so your companion could be at a nice person’s home for days before they are surrendered to a shelter.
If you have any additional advice or groups that lost pets can be posted to, please let us know and we will add it.