Losing a pet can be incredibly stressful but it's important to stay calm and approach the situation methodically. Don't fear the worst: follow our tips to help you try and find your beloved buddy.
1. Don't panic...
This applies to any emergency situation but is especially true when a pet goes missing. Try to be logical and consider all possible explanations. This will ultimately help you find your pet faster.
2. Make some phone calls
Before you put up flyers, make some calls. Phoning your local vet is a great start, often this is the first place people take lost or found pets. If your pet is microchipped, the logical first stop is the New Zealand Companion Animal Register (NZCAR), a collective of leading organisations (including the SPCA) dedicated to the repatriation of lost pets. If your pet isn't registered with NZCAR, do so immediately you realise your pet is missing.
3. Take the old-fashioned route
There's nothing wrong with the tried and tested method of putting up flyers around your neighbourhood - it's a good way to alert your local community and to make sure those who live near you can easily recognise your pet if they happen to stumble upon them during the search. Just make sure you include your (correct) details.
4. Check TradeMe
There's a Lost & Found pets section on TradeMe - not necessarily the best place to list a lost animal if you're the person who stumbles upon one but it's certainly where many of them pop up. If you're the owner of a lost pet it's a good place to check.
5. Get your pet microchipped
If you're lucky enough to find your pet after the ordeal of losing them, take the experience as a lesson: it's important to have your pet microchipped. It makes the search for any missing pet so much easier. Take extra precautions, too, like making sure your updated details are on your pet's collar and repairing any broken fences or gates around your home. You'll be thanking yourself if your little mate ever goes missing again.