By Barb Krebs and Rose Hayes:
Also: View lost & found pets listing (click on title of each to view photo)
Time is of the essence when your pet is lost.
You should contact local rescues, shelters, animal control officers and veterinarians as soon as possible. Call, e-mail and/or drop off a photo and description of your pet, and check their websites. Check back frequently.
“When your pet is lost, do everything everyone recommends as soon as possible,” veterinarian Valerie Miller of East York Veterinary Center said. “Post pictures for blocks around your neighborhood. Ask your neighbors to keep a look-out. Notify all the local shelters/SPCA and visit them at least every other day to personally look for your pet.”
WHAT TO DO
- Flyers should include a description of your pet, a photo, the date and area where your pet was last seen, daytime and evening phone numbers and your first name only. Don’t include your address. Offer a reward, but don’t state the amount.
- Place a free classified ad in the newspapers.
- Walk the streets with a container of the pet’s favorite food that you can shake and call the pet’s name.
- Leave a garage, shed or basement door or window partially open so your pet can enter if they return when you’re not there. Leave some food and water.
- If you have recently moved, search your old neighborhood.
- The scent of familiar items can help attract your pet. Place your pet’s bedding and favorite toys, or your cat’s litter pan outside your home. Your sweaty gym socks or jogging suit might also get your pet’s attention.
- Above all, be persistent. Pets have been known to reappear many months after they were lost. They sometimes travel long distances. Continue to check with the animal shelters even if you have heard nothing for long periods.
“Don’t forget to keep looking right around your own home. Many pets will be just under your porch or bush, and are too afraid to come out, even to you. Keep trying,” Miller said.
- When searching for your pet, take a friend or relative with you.
- Be cautious in dealing with strangers. If you believe they have found your pet, agree to meet in a public place, and take a friend along.
- If you offer a reward, pay only after your pet is safely returned. Beware of scams by those claiming to have found your pet in a distant area and asking for money to ship your animal back to you.
IF YOU FIND A PET and receive a call from someone who wants to claim it, ask for identifying information.
Be aware that there are people who try to acquire animals for sale to research laboratories or for use in training fighting dogs.
Do not release an animal to anyone who cannot properly identify it.
WHO TO CONTACT
West York BARk (Borough Animal Response krew), Shelley Metzler, 717-880-2957.
York Newspapers classifieds, 717-767-4237; lost and found classified ads are free and will run for several days.
STATE DOG OFFICERS:
Cathy McKinney, 717-259-8651, south of Route 30
Don Newman 717-432-7192, north of Route 30
If you find a stray pet, call York County Control at 911. To report your lost pet, call the animal control officer for your area from the following list:
Terry Hemler, 717-235-6213
Townships: Chanceford, Conewago, Dover, Heidelberg, Hellam Hopewell, Jackson, Lower Windsor, Manheim, North Codorus, Paradise, Penn, Spring Garden, West Manchester, West Manheim, and Windsor.
Boroughs: Dallastown, East Prospect, Felton, Glen Rock, Hallam, Jacobus, Jefferson, Manchester, Mount Wolf, New Freedom, North York, Seven Valleys, Shrewsbury, Spring Grove, Stewartstown, Windsor, Wrightsville, Yoe, New Salem and Yorkana.
Hemler also covers York evenings, weekends and holidays.
Tim Kohler, 717-384-8457
Townships: Carroll, Manchester, Monaghan and Springfield.
Boroughs: Dillsburg, Dover and Red Lion.
Cathy McKinney, 717-259-8651
Townships: Codorus, East Hopewell, Fawn, Lower Chanceford, North Hopewell, Peach Bottom and Shrewsbury.
Boroughs: Cross Roads, Delta, Fawn Grove, Hanover, Loganville, Railroad and Winterstown.
Donald Newman, 717-432-7192
Townships: Franklin, Warrington and Washington.
Boroughs: Franklintown and Wellsville.
Christine Miller, 717-266-6086
Townships: East Manchester and Newberry.
Boroughs: Goldsboro and York Haven.
Mark McCartney, 717-854-2762, covers York during the day.
A local police department covers Fairview Township.
West York BARk, 717-880-2957, covers West York Borough.
Source: York County SPCA and yorkblog.com/pets
VETERINARIAN VALERIE MILLER of East York Veterinary Center said becoming lost is one of the top two reasons for pet deaths. She provided some tips to prevent losing a pet.
- Keep pets inside. When outside they should be under your supervision or inside a fence.
- Collars and tags are a must. Include a tag with your address and phone number or a collar embroidered with your phone number.
- Get a microchip. “This has replaced tattooing as the best way to permanently identify your pet,” Miller said. The chip is the size of a dry grain of rice. Shelters have scanners to read your pet’s microchip ID. Also, register your address with the chip manufacturer, she said.
The following people had contacted the YDR Pets blog, www.yorkblog.com/pets, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 771-2077 to list their lost pets, and each followed a slightly different path to reuniting with their pets.
DETRA SWIFT and her husband, Bill, live in Ludlow, Mass., and had been visiting Swift’s sister and brother-in-law, Linda and John Vinson, in the Shrewsbury area in July 2009 when Jassie escaped from the Vinsons’ garage. ‘Bonnie Rohrbough played a big part in getting Jassie back,’ John Vinson writes. ‘She’s the one who looked on your website to see if a dog like Jassie was reported missing.’
KRISTI MAHER of Lewisberry found her dog PeeTee thanks to an ad on York Daily Record’s Pets blog.
She found PeeTee “thanks to Rose,” said, referring to her e-mail to email@example.com asking that information about PeeTee be added to the blog.
“PeeTee loves everybody and loves riding in cars. He gets bored and he sits down by the road and people pick him up. This time, someone found him in the suburbs of York,” Maher said. “Rose e-mailed his picture to the SPCA, and we found PeeTee in the back without his collar. We had our name and number on the collar but the collar was gone. If you lose a pet, call Rose at the York Daily Record. It works.”
MELISSA KING, 18, of the Red Lion area, has had her rat terrier dog named Trixie for five years. When Trixie was lost, Melissa contacted the YDR Pets blog, talked to neighbors and friends and made up more than 50 posters with Trixie’s photo and placed them in businesses in Red Lion and Dallastown. Her hard worked paid off.
“Seven days later, she wandered into the garden of an elderly couple, who had seen my poster and called me to say they found her.” King said. “I think having her picture on the posters really helped. My sister and I have had Trixie since she was a puppy.”
Melissa had offered a $100 reward for the return of Trixie, but the couple who found her would not accept the money, she said.
“When we got Trixie back she got Lyme disease, so if your pet runs away and you find it, you should take it to the vet to be checked to make sure it’s OK,” Melissa said.
Trixie is on antibiotics and doing well, she added.
TIM KIEF of Hopewell Township lost his sheltie Kasey in February 2009, on the night he brought Kasey home from the breeder. Kief said he called local vets and shelters, posted flyers throughout the area and posted the information on Craigslist and several local internet forums.
“The local people who helped us catch him read those posts and decided to help,” Kief wrote.
“One retired guy in particular rode around every day looking for him.”
Kief said he had a lot of help, including a tracking team from Dogs Finding Dogs
(www.dogsfindingdogs.com); and another team from Grandma’s House of Pets on Maddox Road.
“We got lucky, he ran toward a farmhouse and was trapped by a fence,” Kief wrote. “A farm boy was right there and someone yelled to him to grab him. Kasey’s big adventure came to an end.”
Kasey had been on the run for 20 days.