What Should You Do?
It’s every pet owner’s worst nightmare. You’ve let your dog into your fenced yard to potty, or your indoor/outdoor kitty wanted out to luxuriate in the sun, and when you go to let them back in, they’re not there.
If it’s only been a short amount of time since you’ve seen Fido or Whiskers, go for a walk outside with their favorite smelliest food and call for them. Chances are, they’ll come running. But if it’s been longer, what do you do? Your pet’s keenest sense is their sense of smell. Put items that smell like “home” on your porch to help your pet. These include litterboxes, pet beds, and clothes that smell like you.
In the case of dogs, if you live within Pendleton city limits, you can report your dog missing by calling the non-emergency police dispatch number and giving a description of your pet to see if he or she is at the pound. If your pet is microchipped, the pound has a chip reader and will contact you as long as your information is up to date.
Next, email a picture of your missing pet and the following information to PAWS at firstname.lastname@example.org : Your pet’s name, where they are missing from (if you are not comfortable giving a specific address tell us a general area–NW 6th and Furnish, for instance), their disposition (friendly, cautious, scared), and how to contact you. We will put the pet on our missing pet board and will alert you immediately if they come in to the shelter.
If you are social media savvy, share your missing pet post to the following Facebook pages, Eastern Oregon Pet Lovers Classifieds, Pendleton Pets, and the REAL Pendleton Classifieds. Many of our outlying communities have their own Facebook pages as well. If you don’t already have one, start a Nextdoor.com account. Many people who aren’t on social media use Nextdoor.com, and it is a great way to alert your neighbors to your missing pet. Encourage your neighbors to check their garages and sheds for pets who might have gotten locked inside.
What if you lost your dog away from home while enjoying the great outdoors? Please do look for your pet as carefully as possible before leaving the area, but if you still haven’t found him or her, come back with a kennel or crate and their dog bed and put it where you parked. Your pet may have come back looking for your car, and you were already gone. This next tip might sound embarrassing, but it works! If you’ve lost your dog in a wilderness area, use a spray bottle of your own urine to help your dog find you. This is, after all, how dogs instinctively find each other. Make sure you contact any camp hosts or ranger stations with information about your missing dog.
What do you do if you have found a pet? If the pet is friendly, please keep them contained. If you can keep the pet in your home away from other pets (in a kennel or a separate bathroom, please do so!). Take a picture and email PAWS all the same information you would for a lost pet, post to the social media pages we have recommended, and Nextdoor.com . Sometimes, in a matter of minutes, someone will recognize the pet and come get them. If a few hours have passed, and no one seems to know the found pet, please call Pendleton police dispatch (in the case of dogs), and an officer will come and pick the dog up. In the case of cats, please call PAWS at 541-276-0181, and we will let you know what to do.
If the animal is a dog that is cautious, you might be able to keep them in your fenced in yard. Try to get a picture, call police dispatch, and do social media posts. If the animal is scared, do not try to catch them. You don’t want to accidentally chase a scared animal into traffic. Try your best to get a picture, post to social media, and call police dispatch.
Everyone loves their pets, and helping to reunite lost pets and owners is one way we can all help each other as a community!