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Lost my pet

Losing a pet is a traumatic and distressing experience for both the owners and the pet. It is important not to panic and to act immediately upon realising your pet is missing. The following is a list of seven practical steps that will maximise the chances of ensuring your pet’s safe return.

  1. Search the immediate area
  2. Notify the relevant authorities, as well as  local vets and animal welfare charities
  3. Put up lots of posters
  4. Post your pet’s photo and details on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  5. Post your pet’s photo and details on lost and found websites
  6. Place advertisements in local newspapers and freesheets
  7. Speak with people working in the area: postman, milkman, etc.


Click here to report a lost pet.


1. Search the immediate area

Initially walk around the areas that your dog is familiar with. Friendly dogs will possibly visit areas they are walked, neighbours who give them treats or attention. They might be in an area where there are children playing – talk to these people, especially children as they see and notice a lot more than adults. Bring a photo with you – even hand out some flyers. Frightened, nervous and injured animals – may be cowering nearby, check under vehicles, neighbours gardens. How far they run is a matter of how far their legs will carry them. Big strong dogs, especially young ones, can run 5 miles or more. Small dogs may be able to go half a mile at most. Most dogs are recovered well within a 2 mile circle of their home.

Cats are often found quite close to home – are they stuck in a tree, are they stuck in a neighbour’s car or shed. Focus your search on your immediate surroundings. Walk the roads and calmly call to your animal. You can’t hear them whimper or meow if you drive, and you certainly cannot do an intensive search from behind the wheel of a car.

While searching, make sure you have someone sitting by the landline phone or else divert the calls to your mobile. And activate your answer machine in case of poor reception. There is no point in you searching for hours if your pet is safe and someone is trying to contact you.


2. Notify authorities and local charities

Notify the following as soon as possible: your local Garda station, CSPCA (Cork City Pound), Cork County Pound, local vets and other animal welfare groups (we’ve provided contact details below). Initially focus on those within about five miles of the location your pet went missing from. When you’ve covered that area, go further out – someone may have picked up your pet and may have brought them to a shelter or a veterinary practice outside the area you live. Remember the more people you talk to, the more eyes that are on the look out. It is vital that you contact the pound immediately upon realising your pet is missing, as it will be destroyed after five days if it is not reclaimed or adopted.

 Click here for contact details of vets, pounds and animal welfare groups.


3. Put up posters

Your poster should include a picture of the missing pet, where it went missing from, and your contact details. Put lots of posters up as soon as possible in local shops, bus stops, post offices and pubs.


4. Use Facebook and Twitter

Post a picture of your missing pet and details of where it went missing from on your Facebook and Twitter, and encourage friends in the area to share/retweet in order to get maximum exposure. You can also post on The Munster Lost and Found Pet Helpline’s Facebook and Twitter.


5. Post on lost and found sites

There are many websites maintained by animal welfare charities on which you can post your pet’s photo and details.

Click here to post on The Munster Lost and Found Pet Helpline’s website.

Click here for a list of other animal welfare charity websites that you can post on.


6. Place advertisements in newspapers and freesheets

Local newspapers and freesheets are an excellent way to further advertise your missing pet. You can place an ad in the Evening Echo’s Free Ads by calling 021-4274000, or email your ad to


7. Speak with locals working in the area

People who work and travel in the area you lost your pet can be an invaluable source of information. Try to get in touch with the local postman, milkman, etc., as they may have seen your pet on their rounds.


What to do next

After you’ve done all the above, do not lose hope. Keep searching, and ensure that you visit the local pound every day or as often as possible. When your pet has safely returned home, don’t forget to retrace your footsteps, remove your flyers and posters and inform the various shelters and internet sources of your great news – and don’t forget to thank those who assisted you.

Dog of the Week

Jackson is a seven month old male Labrador X. He was injured very badly in a road traffic accident, but with his own determination as well as lots of loving care, he has since made a full recovery. He was an excellent boy while recovering from his accident; wagging his tail caused him pain, but he still did it to say thank you, poor little guy!

Click here for more details

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