TIP FOR ANIMAL OWNERS:
Always keep photographic and other records. Evidence of ownership
(including your ID) will be required when claiming your animal from
a rescue place or police station.
YOU LOSE A COMPANION ANIMAL
After checking all of the obvious and less obvious places, the first
thing to do is to contact your local police. For example, if a dog
has been found, the first thoughts of most people is to contact
the police - this why owners should always take this initial action
if they loose their animal.
If you are unfortunate to have lost your companion animal do the
obvious and post details around your neighbourhood and even through
letterboxes. Put posters with a recent photo (see
also the tips page)
in supermarkets and any shop that will accept them. Your local paper
may even publish a lost and found section. Inform services in your
locality such as the postperson, milkperson, schools, community
centres and vets ... But at the same time, inform ALL of your local
animal rescue organisations so that they can post the information
on the lost and found page of their website, which should hopefully
be connected to LaFAN.
If you have recently moved home, it's worth checking your previous
home in case your cat or dog has tried to find its way back there.
Cats and dogs will travel surprisingly long distances to reach familiar
territory (and have incredibly powerful senses, enabling them to
reach their goal!).
YOU FIND A LOST COMPANION ANIMAL
The very first thing to do (besides feeding it) is contact the police
(see above). If you have found an animal always first check if it
is injured in any way. If it appears that urgent medical attention
is required, take it straight to your local vet and explain that
it was found. The vet will also check for a micro-chip which will
hopefully provide details of the animal's owner. Whether the animal
is injured or not you should still take it to the vet who may be
able to check if a microchip if present. Also contact ALL your local
animal rescue organisations. Follow their advice but also ask them
to post the animal's details on the lost and found page of their
websites - which should hopefully be connected to LaFAN.
Only if you are sure that you are able to provide all the care and
attention the animal needs should you attempt to look after it until
the owner is hopefully found. Otherwise an animal rescue organisation
will be far better equipped to care for the animal. If you are inclined
to be concerned for the future welfare of the animal then it's worth
keeping a check on the progress each day and ask the rescue organisation
(or police if they have kept the animal) to keep you informed of
the situation - and what options there are for the animal if it
looks as if the owner cannot be traced. In fact, if the police do
have the animal then call them daily to enquire on his or her wellbeing.
In 2007 a dog died in police care after simply being forgotten about
for ten days. Because of shocking incidents like this you are advised
to keep a close check on how the police are dealing with the animal.
you think your animal may have been stolen, your first stop should
be to contact the police.
THOROUGH WITH THE DESCRIPTION
Whether you are describing your lost animal to the police or animal
rescue organisation provide as much information as possible which
you think may help to identify him or her; even quirky aspects of
behaviour which might be noticeable.