National Pet Loss Prevention Month: Keeping Our Beloved Pets Safe

| July 5, 2024

Every year, countless pets go missing, leaving their families devastated and heartbroken. Recognizing the need to address this issue, July is designated as National Pet Loss Prevention Month. This month serves as a crucial reminder for pet parents to take proactive steps to ensure the safety and security of their beloved companions. 

Common Causes of Pet Loss

Accidental Escape: Pets can be curious and adventurous, often finding ways to escape through open doors, windows, or gaps in fences. 

Lack of Identification: Without proper identification, it becomes challenging to reunite lost pets with their families. 

Natural Disasters: During emergencies like floods, fires, or hurricanes, pets can easily get separated from their families. 

Theft: Pet theft is an unfortunate reality, with certain breeds being targeted more frequently. 

Inadequate Supervision: Leaving pets unsupervised in unfamiliar environments can lead to them getting lost. 

Preventive Measures

Microchipping and Identification: One of the most effective ways to ensure your pet’s safe return if they go missing is by microchipping them. A collar with an ID tag that includes your contact information is also essential. Toronto Humane Society’s Public Veterinary Services offers microchipping. 

Secure Your Home and Yard: Regularly check for potential escape routes in your home and yard. Ensure doors, windows, and fences are secure. 

Supervision and Leash Training: Always supervise your pets, especially in unfamiliar environments. Leash training can prevent them from wandering off during walks. Toronto Humane Society’s Public Training & Behaviour offers leash training classes. 

Create a Safe Space During Emergencies: Have a plan for your pets during natural disasters. Create a safe space and pack an emergency kit with food, water, and essential supplies. 

Educate Yourself and Others: Stay informed about pet theft trends and educate others in your community. Sharing information and being vigilant can help prevent theft. 

What to Do If Your Pet Goes Missing

Despite taking all precautions, pets can still go missing. If this happens, it’s crucial to act quickly: 

Search the Immediate Area: Thoroughly search your home and neighbourhood. Call out your pet’s name and listen for any sounds. Leave fresh food and water outside on a porch or in a sheltered area close to your home. Also set up a large cardboard box lined with an old towel or other items that smell familiar to your pet. If your lost pet should return while you are asleep or away from home, food and shelter may save their life. This is also an incentive for them to stay close by. 

Notify Local Authorities: Inform local animal shelters, veterinarians, and animal control agencies. Provide them with a recent photo and detailed description of your pet. If a stray pet comes into our care without a microchip or form of ID, we post them on our strays webpage. 

Utilize Social Media: Post on local community pages, pet recovery websites, and social media platforms. The broader the reach, the higher the chances of someone spotting your pet. 

Create and Distribute Flyers: Make flyers with your pet’s photo, description, and your contact information. Distribute them in your neighbourhood and nearby areas.