Bringing Fido Home: Finding Lost Pets & Keeping Them Safe
Sarah Sypniewski owns and operates NinjaDog Concepts, a lost pet logistics service in Santa Monica and has helped recover pets all over Southern California.
HOW TO PREVENT YOUR PET FROM GETTING LOST
- Always keep collars with current ID tags on your pet
- Get your pet microchipped (but remember, they do not have GPS capabilities)
- Put GPS collars on your pet – they are becoming more popular and inexpensive
- Use a backup system while on walks (for example, clip the leash to your pet’s harness and collar, in case he slips out of one of them)
- If your pet spends any time in a yard, do a full walk around of your property regularly–especially important if there are hidden areas of your yard. Check that:
- Gates close, latch, and lock
- Fences are sound (look for things like loose boards, curling chain link, and rotting wood),
- Your pet isn’t trying to dig under the fence
- Fence height cannot be cleared by your pet (frightened pets can jump higher than we think).
- Items like chairs or boxes aren’t placed next to the fence, where a pet could use them to climb up and over the fence.
- Vegetation isn’t concealing potential escape points
- Also for outdoor pets, provide:
- Warm, dry shelter and clothing
- Fresh water and food every day
- A yard safe from predators (human and wildlife).
Otherwise, a pet may be forced to wander in search of resources or escape from yard, if being chased.
- Alert visitors ahead of time that you have pets in the yard or house that may escape if a gate or door is left open too long. They should make quick exits and entrances.
- Pet theft is on the rise. Don’t leave your pet tied up outside of stores, alone in your car, or unattended in a yard
- Spay and neuter your pet. Unneutered males especially will escape and wander in search of females.
- It’s very common for pets to escape while being watched by someone else, so always review safety and care instructions with your pet sitter ahead of time and have a plan in place in case the pet does get out.
- Train your pet on a recall command (a command that will cause him to come right back to you 100% of the time, no exception). If your pet escapes in while you’re present, you can call your pet back to you.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU FIND A LOST PET
By law, you are required to turn a stray animal into the shelter in case an owner comes looking for him there, but before you do that, you should knock on doors in the area to see if you can find his home and drive around to see if see any lost pet flyers posted for him.
You can also:
- Make “FOUND DOG/CAT” flyers and post them in the area you found the pet
- Check the ads in the lost/found section of craigslist to see if anyone posted a lost pet ad for this pet. If not, post a “found” ad. *Warning: always make someone prove ownership before turning over the pet*
- There are many other lost/found pet websites you can post on for free: http://www.fidofinder.com/, http://www.dogheirs.com/, http://www.helpinglostpets.com/, http://www.thecenterforlostpets.com/, as well as pages on Facebook you can post: https://www.facebook.com/MSDAlert, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-and-Found-Pets-in-Los-Angeles-Metro-Area/165863400097668, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lost-Paws-Finder/202707913098034?sk=wall
- Post a photo and info on your own Facebook page, Twitter, and other social media sites and email your contacts about the pet you found, asking everyone to spread the word!
CURRENTLY MISSING – $2,500 REWARD
PJ is a female Chihuahua who escaped from a pet sitter’s home in Leimert Park, near Arlington and Vernon, on Christmas Eve. She could be anywhere by now. She is all black, about 9 pounds, and is about 4 years old. May be wearing pink harness. She escaped with another dog who was found on New Year’s Eve–he was taken in by a Good Samaritan. If you see her, DO NOT CHASE. Call (310) 406-7401 OR (310) 908-7342 with any sightings or information, 24/7. $2,500 reward!
ADOPTABLE PETS FEATURED IN SEGMENT:
Both pets are from “Take Me Home” Rescue.
Sweet Brandi was saved from a kill shelter, after being abandoned by her family. When we saved Brandi at the shelter, her charming demeanor immediately stole our hearts. Brandi too knew that she was safe, and she began to dance around in the car as if she was dancing for her freedom. Brandi loves every human and animal she meets! If you are looking for a companion to sit on your lap, cuddle with you in bed, and have a walking partner for life….look no further. Brandi is ready to be your forever girl!
Meet Twiggy. She was lovingly named after a super model because of her long legs! We call her our little reindeer as she is so gentle and ready for a new life. Twiggy has traveled across the globe from Taiwan to find her new, forever family. Twiggy is a gorgeous, very petite, shiny jet black shepherd-mix; approximately eight months young. This tiny, 15 pound puppy was abandoned outside a factory in Taiwan and left for dead. She patiently waited for her family to come back for her, but sadly no one ever came. Take Me Home came to her rescue and she is thriving! Twiggy loves every person and animal she meets. If you are looking for a true rescue experience and a dog that will show you endless gratitude for being a part of your family, then Twiggy is your girl!