Friday, July 16, 2010

If You Lose or Find a Pet

By Ann Parry (

What do you do when you've Lost or Found a Pet?  How do you Safely check for news, spread the news, and more?

Cat Found

Well, a friendly white and black female cat, green eyes, about 1 year old*, strolled up to our front stoop to visit our cat Hillary, who was in a cat stroller, earlier this week. Unfortunately, this kitty found near the Merrick-Bellmore border doesn't have a collar and ID tag, so we don't know her name and address.

  • *Update 7/25: 'Cat Found in Merrick' is Back with Family!     (more info near end of post)
If this white and black kitty is a member of your family, please contact us by email at [edit: contact info removed after owner found]. We will release her only to her proven owner, so emailing a photo you took of her would be a good way to help show she is your cat.

She is very affectionate, so she is, or was, part of a loving family, which she must miss.

Check for News - Spread the News  
Sad but Important:  If you lose a pet, immediately tell your neighbors, and then contact all the public/town animal shelters in a wide area around you.  (For ex, I'd contact all L.I. public shelters, starting with close ones.)  Because of serious overcrowding, many shelters do NOT have a No-Kill policy, so time is very important! When we found kitty, one of the first things we did was post "Found Cat" flyers, which include her photo and basic description, in the area. These are FREE ways to spread the news, and check for news  - whether it's online posts, flyers, email, or phone calls - about a lost or found pet.: 
    To get your flyers as widespread as possible, contact shelters, vets, pet supply store, and ask if they'll let you Fax them a flyer, so they can print it out and hang it where visitors see it.
    Your Safety
    Whether you've lost or found a pet, protect your safety and guard against scams meant to get your money. If you create a separate email account to use on flyer and online ad, you can avoid posting any personal information. Make an email address that is easy for someone to remember or copy down correctly. Do not agree to pay to have your pet shipped back to you. In fact, if you lost your pet, do NOT send money in any form for any reason. Some Tips from the section on avoiding would-be scammers:
    • Anything that sounds too good to be true, probably is. (Listen to your gut feeling if something seems wrong, no matter how much you want to believe it.)
    • Stay local and avoid dealing with anyone who says pet needs to be shipped
    • Avoid playing into the cruelty of false lost pet responses. Some mean, dishonest people purposely target the sad, vulnerable owners of lost pets.
    • Do not wire funds, do not use cashier's checks, do not use money orders, do not give out any banking or financial information.
    Pet ID Tags and more
    It's very important your pet wears a collar with an ID tag and/or has a pet identification tattooPet ID microchips are good extra protection, especially in case a collar with ID tag comes off, but have something visible to the unaided eye also. Kitty wasn't wearing an ID tag, so during her first visit to Merrick Veterinary Group, Dr. Allison Villa carefully ran the microchip scanner up and down her several times. Like 99% of cats, kitty is not microchiped, but it was definitely worth checking.
    If you already have pets in your family, and then find a lost pet, keep them separate until a vet tests for contagious parasites and infectious diseases (and then pet receives medical treatment, if necessary), and  finds pet safe to be in contact with other animals. Update: During kitty's second checkup at the Merrick Veterinary Group, Dr. Allison Villa gave her treatment and medicine for a problem, tested and found her negative for FIV, FeLV, de-wormed her, and gave her a Rabies shot update.
    Indoor Cat VS Outdoor Cat
    Wondering if your cat should be an indoor or outdoor cat? An indoor cat lives about 12 years, and sometimes up to 20, but an outdoor cat lives an average of only 5 years.  This information came from  Merrick Veterinary Group, the Humane Society of the United States, Cat World, and Catster:      Dangers for Outdoor Cats
            *Update 7/25/10:
            Only a small percent of lost pets are ever found by their family, but here's great news:
            We found kitty's loving family - a nearby neighbor we didn't even know had a cat, let along one so precious - and she returned home today. Her name is Patches - how cute!
            Patches looks young for her age, for she's around 8. The rest of Patches' story is interesting, even surprising, and I'll post a new blog entry about it. Also, I've updated the original title of this post - "Cat Found in Merrick" - to avoid giving anyone who's lost a cat false hope.
            Adopt a Pet
            ♥  We heard about a wonderful family who wanted to adopt "Found Cat" if her family stayed lost.  ♥ Adopt a Pet. Please open your heart and home to a shelter pet. You can click this text to go to which helps you find the animal shelters in your area. For example, I went to and entered "Massapequa, NY" + chose a distance of "within 50 miles" + selected "Any type of pet" and it listed about 500 shelters on Long Island. ~ ~ ~ Comments:  Please leave a comment below, especially if you would like to share a story about a lost or found pet, or if you have info about pet safety or pet adoption.


            John said...

            I just saw signs on Park Ave, You are really going the extra mile to find the owners and you should be commended. Looks like he is settling nicely into your home. Have you tried calling TOH animal shelter or I will spread the word. See you soon JL

            Ann Parry NY said...

            Thanks for the tip about, John.

            Don't know if this is the case here, but more and more pets are being abandoned during these hard economic times. It is so tragic.

            SueZboss said...

            I'm so happy patches found his home!!!! :)

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