The feeling you get when you can’t find your pet is overwhelming. You panic, you get upset and you are scared. I get it.
But to find your lost pet in Ireland you need to act quickly, start getting the word out and enlisting peoples help in the search.
In this article we are going to run through all of the things you can do in order to get your pet home safely and as quickly as possible.
It’s a good idea to make sure you always have the following at hand:
- Up to date photos of your pet
- Details of your pets chip number
- Phone numbers for your local Garda station, vets, rescues and dog warden.
- This checklist- so you can make sure you do all the action items below
Having these details to hand means you can act quickly when letting the relevant people know your pets is missing.
How To Find Your Lost Pet In Ireland: The Complete Guide
Firstly try not to panic. Acting quickly is really important when it comes to lost pets – so if you can stay calm and work through the list below as quickly as possible that would be the best course of action.
What To Do If You Have Lost Your Dog/Cat
#1. Talk To Your Neighbours
Let your neighbours know that your pet is missing so they can look out for them.
Ask them to spread the word and let anyone else know that they are speaking to that you have lost your pet.
You could also text them a picture of your pet – this way they have the picture and your contact details to get in touch with you.
Always approach neighbours who have pets first – as often you will find your pet has gone for a chat with the local dog or cat!
#2. Check Local Buildings
Often cats can get locked in a garage or a shed, so make sure you check local buildings.
Ask neighbours to check their garages, sheds and buildings to see if you pet is trapped.
If you can’t get access to any buildings then calling your pets name might make them bark or meow so you know they are in there.
#3. Talk to Local Shop Owners/Businesses
Ask local companies to let people know your pet is missing. Most businesses will allow you to put up a poster with the details of your pet on.
Include the a photo, where they went missing and your contact details.
Note – Make sure when you find your pet that you go and take down the posters.
#4. Check With Your Local Rescue/Pound
Ring the rescue and let them know the details of your pet and when they went missing. They may allow you to email/text a photo of them with more details.
Also ask them if they have a Facebook Page you can share the details of your missing pet on.
#5. Contact Your Local Vet
Get in touch with the local vets (not just your own vet) and give them the details of your missing pet. Make sure you ask if you can send in a picture of them and offer to take down a poster for their notice board.
Also check if they have social media you can share the details on.
#6. Get In Touch With The Dog Warden
Make sure you report your dog missing to the local dog warden so they can contact you if they find your dog.
#7. Alert your local Garda Station
Get in touch with your local Garda station so that they have a record of your lost pet and can let you know if someone finds them and gets in touch with them.
Tag @gardainfo on Twittter and ask them to retweet your lost pet details. Many other people will retweet that for you too.
#8. Advertise Your Pet Is Missing
Create posters to put up in the local area. The poster should include:
- A photo of your pet
- Details of where they went missing
- Contact Details
Some people offer a reward for a missing pet. This is optional and people have mixed views on this – does it encourage people to look for your pet or does it encourage pet theft?
#9. Contact Lost Pet Websites
Register your pet as missing on
- Lost and Found Pets
- Lost Dogs
Also share on their social media pages.
#10. Share On Social Media
It’s important to get the word out to as many people as possible. Make sure you share all the details on social media and ask people to share the post for you.
Some people set up Facebook Pages just to share details of their missing pet so that people helping with the search have one place to get updates from.
Be wary of people contacting you with sightings of your pet. Never go alone to meet anyone – always take someone with you.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Pet
The following are things you can do to try and help if your pet does go missing at some stage.
#1. Make Sure They Have An Up To Date ID Tag
It’s a legal requirement in Ireland to have an up to date ID tag on your dog. At the moment it is not a legal requirement for cats – but it is extremely advisable.
#2. Keep Their Microchip Details Up To Date
Under the Microchipping of Dog Regulations 2015 dogs must be microchipped and registered with an approved Dog Identification Database.
Please make sure you keep the chip updated with current details – if you move house or change phone numbers.
#3. Purchase A GPS Collar
This will not stop your pet going missing, but it will help you find them quickly. There are quite a few options on the market including the Pod Tracker.
What To Do If You Find A Dog/Cat
- If you find a cat or a dog then take it to your local vet so they can scan their ID chip and contact the owners.
- If there is a tag on you can always contact the owner directly.
- If neither of these are available then you should list the pet on one of the lost and found websites.
- Always make sure you check for proof of ownership before you hand over the pet. For example, photos, colour of the collar, unusual markings etc.