The moment you realize that your pet is not safe and sound at home is a horrible moment. Something alerts you — maybe it’s a been a while since you have seen your companion, or maybe you came across an open door, window or gate. At first, you begin calling his name and frantically look around the house and the yard. When there is no response, it sinks in. Your pet is lost.
What you do next can make the difference as to whether your pet returns home. Immediately alert the authorities, which include your local animal shelter, animal control officer and the police department. Be aware of which animal shelter is “your” shelter. (The Cumberland County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provides safe shelter for stray animals throughout Cumberland and Salem counties and even parts of Camden County.) Provide them with as much information as possible about your pet — weight, coloring, gender (include whether the pet has been altered), special markings, temperament and any health concerns. We take many lost reports at the CCSPCA and are surprised to learn many owners cannot accurately tell us what breed or mix of breeds their pet is. Also, provide more than one phone number so you can be reached easily, and make sure your phone is charged and functioning so when the call comes, you are ready.