Pet Tips and Advice

Lost Austin pets can be found…but prevention is always better.

A recent article in The Durham News online covered an all-too-common reality for many Austin pet owners: a lost pet.

According to the article, one out of three pets will be lost at some point during their lives. Take a look around at your own neighborhood telephone poles, community centers and notice boards and there’s usually one or more flyers posted about a missing Austin dog or cat.

So what do you do if your companion is lost? The article provided some tips:

  1. Visit your local animal shelter to look for your pet. You’d be surprised how many people never think to look there. When you visit, bring a photo of your pet to attach to the lost pet report. And don’t just visit once. Stray animals are held at shelters usually for more than just a couple days, so it’s a good idea to come in once a week.
  2. Visit and file reports with other area shelters in surrounding counties. Your pet could have wandered farther than you thought or the good Samaritan who finds your pet may take them to a shelter that was closer to their own home or work.
  3. Visit www.petharbor.com daily. This is a resource for lost pets and they are linked up with numerous pet shelters, including Austin Town Lake Animal Center.
  4. Search Craigslist frequently. Often good Samaritans post stray animals here rather than bringing them to the shelter.

These tips are good for after a pet is lost, but what can you do to prevent it? The news piece has suggestions for that as well.

“Provide your pet with an ID tag AND microchip. Microchipping is safe, effective and inexpensive. A microchip will protect your pet should their collar become lost. All shelters, animal control agencies and veterinary clinics can scan stray animals for microchips.”

Another means of prevention is spaying your pet or neutering your pet, something people might not immediately think of as a deterrent. But “this surgery will discourage roaming and eliminate unwanted litters. Plus, animals sterilized before their first litter have a 90 percent reduced risk of developing mammary cancer.”

Finally, there are some easy solutions, like “if your cat is an outdoor cat, consider bringing them inside permanently. For dogs, ensure they have a secure fence.”

All of the above will help keep your pet in your home and help you find it should it decide to wander off.