Short of having an ill pet or one that has to be put to sleep, a lost pet is probably the most stressful thing to endure. You can’t help but think the worst. Did she get run over by a car? Did he get eaten by coyotes? Did someone find them and decide to keep them? Not knowing is the worst!
Last night we had a knock at our door. We generally avoid answering the door when we’re not expecting visitors because more often than not it’s someone trying to sell us lawn care, alarm systems, newspaper subscriptions, etc.
I looked through the peephole and it appeared it could be just one of those people but for some reason I couldn't resist opening the door and seeing what this person wanted.
To my surprise it was a lady handing out flyers about her friend’s lost cat. It was the same flyer Mrs. Nate and I saw earlier in the day while walking our boys. We are always sad when we see these posted around the community.
But this was the first time I had witnessed someone actually going door to door in an effort to let the neighbourhood know this cat went missing. Further to that, it wasn't just the owner of the cat knocking on doors it was her friend. I found this to be touching, the cat owner’s friend wanted to help after seeing how upset she was by the loss of her feline companion.
We can totally empathize because we've had our share of cats wander off causing a panic state as we frantically went around the neighborhood looking for our lost pet.
Heck, the last time was only a couple of months ago. We didn't even know our cat Burberry had gone missing! Thank goodness for her collar and the attached tag with her name and our phone number on it. Our neighbour a few doors down discovered Burberry in his yard, found our number on her collar and immediately called us.
Turns out she was relaxing in the back yard when the dog we were babysitting got into the yard with her. The dog would never hurt her but she didn't know that. In her haste to get away she actually leapt up onto our six foot fence and got away as fast as she could. All this happened so fast we didn't even know she was gone, we thought she was still safe and sound in the basement.
On Monday night we were walking our boys and we came across two very friendly dogs walking along all by themselves. They were happily wandering around sniffing stuff. These two dogs had tags with their actual address shown. Turns out they were about 10 houses away from home and we were able to coax them along till we got there. We rang the bell when arriving and the dogs went inside immediately after their owner opened the door. She was grateful but somewhat nonchalant about the situation saying they “get out all the time” and figured they make their way back home eventually. Wasn’t too crazy about that attitude let me tell ya!
So the lesson here (and we learned it early on) is always equip your pets with a personalized collar and tag. Make sure your phone number or address is on the tag so you can be contacted directly. If you have a city tag, that’s great but having your direct contact info in addition to that is much better.
Simply relying on the City of Calgary tag means the person finding your pet must call the city to pick them. Your pet will endure a ride in the back of their truck, probably in a cage and will have to wait in a kennel for you to arrive. On top of all that, you’ll probably get a finger wag from the officer and a nice fine too!
There are many places to get personalized tags created for your dogs and cats. Just visit your favourite pet store (preferably one that doesn't sell pets) or go online, they’re everywhere! The photo I used was courtesy of Etsy. There are a ton of fun and unique ones out there.
Not to mention it’s much cheaper than a city by-law fine and less stressful for your lost pet.