DEAR PAW’S CORNER: While my son and his friend were playing in the backyard, our dog Chet slipped under a hole in the fence and ran off. We drove the neighborhood looking for him, but Chet has disappeared.
What else can we do? It’s been about 12 hours so far. — Frantic in Baltimore
DEAR FRANTIC: You made a good start by beginning the search for Chet immediately. Here are a few more things you can do:
• Put a small amount of Chet’s favorite food just outside the door from which he usually enters or leaves. Try and tempt him back — but don’t leave it out there more than a day.
• Call your neighbors and tell them Chet is lost, so they’ll keep a lookout for him.
• Search parks, playgrounds and other facilities within a couple miles of your home.
• After 24 hours, contact the municipal and county dog pounds and area shelters. Even if a pet has a license tag or microchip, it’s often the owner’s responsibility to find out if their pet has been brought to a facility.
• File a lost pet report with the animal control department and area shelters.
• After 48 hours, begin putting up fliers (in permitted areas) containing Chet’s picture, name, size, age, weight and markings, and your contact information (phone or email only).
• Watch out for lost-pet scammers. You may be contacted by someone saying they have your dog and will return him if you wire reward money or send a check. One way to prevent being scammed is to leave one obvious marking off your description of Chet, and then ask the person calling to describe Chet’s appearance.
Send your questions or comments to [email protected]. Did you know mosquitos can transmit heartworm larvae to dogs, but fleas don’t? Find out more in my new book, “Fighting Fleas,” available now. © 2013 King Features Synd. Inc.