HOW TO FIND YOUR MISSING PET

Report your missing pet to NACS in one of the following two ways:

1. Go to our Facebook page and send us a message
 

2. Send us an email at animal.shelter@nanaimo.ca (this email will usually only accept one or two photos at a time) 

When reporting your pet missing it is important to include a photo of the missing pet, your contact information, the date your pet was last seen and the location where he or she is missing from, as well as any identifying features.

The following methods may assist you to find your missing pet:

 

●  View the FOUND PETS section on this website.

●  Call or visit other pounds in the area. For the Nanaimo area, check Coastal Animal Services in case your pet was found outside of City limits.

 

●  Call or visit your local animal shelter. In Nanaimo, check the Nanaimo SPCA at 154 Westwood Rd. (250) 741-0778

 

●  Send lost reports to online lost pet groups. There are several volunteer-run networks of people who will share the posting and provide support for owners of missing pets:
 

FLED - Finding Lost and Escaped Dogs (Facebook page)

Nanaimo Lost and Found Pets (Facebook page)

ROAM - Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing (Facebook page)

ROAM - Cats (Facebook page)
 

●  Call your nearest veterinary clinic. People who find animals will sometimes take them to a nearby veterinarian office & drop them off. Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital is open 24 hours a day and accepts found injured animals.

●  Check for found animal posters in your neighbourhood.

●  Check your neighbourhood: hydro poles, trees, corner store, veterinarian office.

 

●  Search your home. If you are missing a cat or other small animal - it may not be lost - it might be hiding somewhere in your residence! Closets, cupboards, hollow furniture, basement rafters, drawers in furniture, empty luggage, filing cabinets, holes in walls where pipes come through are all potential areas for cats to explore and sometimes become trapped. We also suggest that you check underneath porches, crawl spaces, outbuildings and even your rooftop.

●  Search your neighbourhood. We recommend you check your area on foot or on bicycle – you will see more, hear more & have the ability to speak to people more easily. Check local parks, school grounds, corner stores, beaches etc. Go slow – it produces better results. Try early morning and/or late evening searches. Voices carry better & your scent may be detected by your pet more easily. Cats are sometimes found hiding in trees, atop hydro poles or may have been unknowingly closed into a garage or other structure.

DO NOT TRESPASS – ask for permission to look for your pet on private property.

●  Design a lost animal poster:

  1.      Keep it simple

  2.      A photo is a must (colour is best)

  3.      Provide a phone number, DO NOT provide your address

  4.      Provide unique details about your pet

  5.      Consider a $ reward

●  Distribute a lost animal poster: We strongly recommend delivering your posters door to door. Knock on your neighbor's doors and explain the situation. People are much more likely to remember you and your missing pet if they talk to you about it and understand you are very worried. Although many people do it – it is unlawful to attach a poster to a hydro or telephone pole. Also send a copy of your poster to your local pound and shelter.

●  Other Things to Do:

  • Make a lost poster in the form of a waterproof sandwich board and place it at the busiest intersection near your house.

  • Hang recently worn articles of clothing outside. Your scent may reach the intended target and be a beacon to guide your pet back home.

  • Be vigilant. Don't call off your search even if your pet has been missing for several weeks. Occasionally a lost pet will turn up months after it went missing.

  • Cats are sometimes "unknown stowaways" in vehicles and can be transported a considerable distance from your home. Check all the pounds and shelters in the region, not just your local facility.

Lost Cat Behaviour

Depending on the cat and the circumstance in which it went missing some cats will not respond to their owner's call for any reason. Your cat could literally be just feet away from you hiding in some obscure spot, listening to your voice, smelling its favorite food in the bowl that you are carrying, but, it won't a move a muscle or make a sound. Why? Because the cat's survival instincts are telling it not to. A scared, frightened, traumatized cat can only focus on one thing... survival. The cat's instincts (not wanting to become dinner for some nearby predator) will prevent it from coming out of its hiding spot. It may stay hidden for weeks.


Cats which are usually 'skittish' and reclusive are probably more likely to exhibit lost cat behaviour than a cat which is ordinarily friendly and social, however, any cat can suffer from this behaviour.  A cat with "Lost Cat Behaviour" may not be easily recognized when it finally comes out of hiding. It will likely be very thin, dirty and its hair may be heavily matted. Expect severe dehydration, hypothermia, injury, fleas, worms, etc. Your cat may look very old and very sick.


A hands and knees search of every nook and cranny (strong flashlight recommended) may be the only way to find this type of cat. If you are not immediately successful, keep trying and be vigilant in your search. Keep checking your neighbourhood, update your posters, let people know the search is still "on".