Where do all the missing dogs go

What to do if dogs or cats run away

Most pet owners find it a horror that their darling might suddenly disappear. But today it is comparatively easy to find a runaway dog ​​or a missing cat if you take proper precautions.

You can find out more about pets here

According to the German Animal Welfare Association, it happens many times every day in Germany that animals are missing from their owners. When the beloved four-legged friend is gone without a trace, it is a stressful situation for pet owners.

But despite the fright and worries, it is important to keep calm. In this way, the owner and dog or cat can quickly come together again.

When do animals run away?

Dogs usually disappear when they go for a walk. They either run away because they are frightened or because something has awakened their hunting instinct and they run after a rabbit, for example.

What upsets a dog can be very different from person to person. Some may panic when a car honks loudly, others are driven to flight by the threatening gestures of a conspecific.

According to Lea Schmitz from the German Animal Welfare Association, a lot of animals run away on New Year's Eve because they are frightened by the fireworks.

Most cats do not find their way back to their home when they are new and have not yet settled in there. According to Schmitz, it happens again and again that curious animals jump into vehicles, for example when the loading flap of a transporter is open. "So they can easily be transported over many kilometers before they jump out again in a strange environment at some point."

This is how you can prevent it

It is best if the horror scenario does not arise in the first place. Pet owners can observe a few points so that their four-legged friend does not disappear:

  • If you buy a new cat, you should leave it in the apartment for a few weeks, advises Schmitz. So she can get to know the new environment. Then you can let them out into the garden a few times under supervision for a short time before finally letting them roam around on their own.
  • With a dog you should train the recall intensively so that he really hears and comes when he is called.
  • If a dog is afraid or if there is a lot going on outside, you should only take him for a walk on a leash, recommends Schmitz. A double leash could offer additional security in such cases.

Chip makes it easier to find it again

The chances of a reunion between a runaway animal and its owner increase significantly if the dog or cat is tagged with a chip and entered in a pet register. For this, a microtransponder is placed under the skin by a vet using a syringe.

The German Animal Welfare Association advises all owners to register their cats and dogs in this way. Schmitz emphasizes that the procedure is not risky for the animal. "You don't have to worry that the chip will somehow wander, nor is it a major intrusion."

No data about the holder is stored on the chip, just a 15-digit number. So that the animal can be assigned using this number, it must then be entered by the owner in a pet register such as Findefix or TASSO.

"Unfortunately, this second step of registration is often forgotten," says Schmitz from experience. It is not clear to many owners who have their animals chipped that no one can assign them to their runaway animal if they do not store their contact details in a register.

If a registered animal is found, the chip can be read out by veterinarians or in animal shelters and the owner can be determined via the pet register.

What to do when an animal is gone

In many cases, dogs and cats find their way back home by themselves. But the owners can do a lot to make it easier to see their pets again:

  • If a dog runs away while going for a walk, the owner should first stay in the place where the dog has disappeared and wait to see whether he comes back or searches the surrounding area. According to Schmitz, it would be ideal if another person would wait at home in case the dog walks home.
  • If dogs or cats do not appear again themselves, you should submit a missing person report to the pet register.
  • Search posters with photos of the pet can be hung in the neighborhood or in the park. "You can also ask the vet if he'll hang one up in the waiting room," advises Schmitz.
  • It can also help to share the missing person report through social media channels.
  • In addition, the typical contact points should be informed where found animals are reported. These are animal shelters in the area, but often also the police. "You should also inform the lost property office, because that is the official place where an animal should be reported," explains Schmitz.
  • Cats often hide in garages or basements and are sometimes unintentionally locked there. You can hand out pieces of paper around you and ask your neighbors to look at such potential hiding places in their homes.

Sources used:

  • Conversation with Lea Schmitz, press spokeswoman for the German Animal Welfare Association
  • TASSO e.V .: Search tips for runaway dogs
  • Infoportal Tierheim.com: Pet has run away or is missing