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Moving Day Advice For Pet Owners

Cat on mantel

R.I.P. Josie

We are writing this at the request of the Josie’s family. It is a sad story but may help prevent another tragedy.

When Josie’s family moved from Ohio to Texas they had the movers pack for them. They did not want to stress Josie and their other cat by confining them all day so they were not shut up and Josie’s Mom monitored the open doors in case they should run out, although both cats were “inside” cats.

When the truck was packed and ready to leave Josie could not be found. The family was anguished and paid the movers extra to unload all the boxes they had just packed – open, inspect and reseal them. They were terrified that Josie had jumped in and been shut up. But Josie was not found in any of the boxes.

The family delayed their own departure as long as they could. A very kind and helpful neighbor borrowed a trap from Pet FBI and faithfully set it out every night in hopes that Josie had somehow slipped out of the house on moving day and could be caught. Meanwhile, days later, the moving truck arrived at the warehouse in the other state but the contents could not be delivered due to a delay in being able to occupy the new house. Josie’s parents who were anguished with worry even had a friend go to the warehouse and again inspect the boxes.

Hopes ran high when a cat resembling Josie was spotted in the old neighborhood. Finally after a week the cat was trapped and all were elated …. until it was confirmed that the cat that was finally trapped was not Josie.

Eventually, the family was able to take delivery of their household possessions and the father carefully inspected each item personally to spare his wife any unpleasant surprises.

This story does not have a happy ending. Josie was found dead on the shelf of a sewing cabinet where she had evidently hidden. The cabinet had been shrink-wrapped and thus sealed, Josie probably died of asphyxiation. The only consolation in all this is that it was a at least a gentle death. The family had feared that she would die of heat and thirst in the moving van.

Josie’s family has asked that we share her story in order to spare others a similar tragic experience. Confine your pets on moving day.

We would also add, in regard to moving, that when you arrive at your new home – do not let your pets out without supervision. It may take several weeks before a cat gets the lay of the land and the risk of getting lost is reduced. Pet FBI gets a great many reports of cats gone missing right after a move. In any case it is always safest to keep cats inside –  there are just too many hazards for a free-roaming cat.

Our heartfelt condolences to Josie’s family and the faithful neighbor who helped. Josie’s little feline companion is reportedly also grieving. The temptation to be overwhelmed by guilt is great, but Josie’s family should take comfort in knowing that they did everything possible to help Josie and that while she was with them she enjoyed the best life a cat can possibly have. That is so much more than 9 out of 10 cats born in our great country ever have.

10 Month Old Sally Enticed To Return With Familiar Scents

cat and little girl

Sally and her little girl

This beautiful kitty was the darling of a little girl. When Sally went missing the little girl resisted going to school. She wanted to stay home to await Sally’s return. Mom was desperate, suffering for both Sally and her grieving little daughter. Then she posted on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. The picture and the situation tugged at the heartstrings of our ace admin, Char, who contacted the Mom. Char explained that most cats don’t go far, especially during the first few days, and the best strategy is to try to attract the cat back. She encouraged her to appeal to Sally’s sense of smell by using familiar and fragrant scents to entice her to return. There are some good tips on our web site page “Tips-to-lure-a-cat-back-home”.  It worked! Ten minutes later the Mom texted Char  that Sally had come out of hiding. When the little girl got off the school bus there was her Mom with Sally. You can see the love in her sweet face!

K.C. Reunited through Pet FBI Database After Two Months!

Cat and note

K.C. With His Hopeful Note!

This kitty had been a frequent visitor in our Facebook friend Nikki’s neighborhood for two weeks. She put this sign on his collar in hopes of solving the mystery: was this cat just a “moocher” or was he really a  stray?  When no one called,  Nikki posted the kitty to the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page.

Our “special agent” (unofficial volunteer) Teresa immediately commented and suggested that Nikki check our lost and found pet database.Thankfully, fourteen year old K.C. was posted. He had been missing for two months! Whether you have lost or found a pet, posting on Facebook is not enough. After awhile the info gets buried and is not easy to find. MAXIMIZE your chances of a reunion by using our free, searchable lost and found pet database at petfbi.org: The Information Center For Lost and Found Pets.

Lucky Coincidence – Another Pet FBI Ohio Success!

Lost chihuahua reunited

Tiny Pooch Recovered through Facebook

 

Our Pet FBI Ohio Facebook pal, Charlene, overheard a co-worker discussing a small dog she had found. The co-worker was did not have a Facebook account but Charlene whipped out her mobile phone and scrolled down and there was a post for an identical dog!  It was indeed Tiny, now happily reunited.

“Chaos” Reclaimed at Shelter Thanks to Tip From Facebook Follower

lost dog recovered held by child

“Chaos” reunited with his “big brother”

This sweet pooch shown here with his happy “big brother” had escaped the yard and been picked up and taken to Franklin County Dog Shelter in Columbus, OH. His family had posted his picture on the Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page. Fortunately, Nicole, one of our Facebook followers, spotted him at the shelter, remembered his post and alerted the family. A happy reunion ensued.

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM: Most lost pets are reunited through a shelter.
REALITY CHECK: Relatively few strays are reclaimed before being euthanized or adopted out to others.

According to a study done by the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) only 17-30% of dogs in shelters are ever reclaimed by their owners and only 2-5 % of cats. Why so few? Basically it’s a question of timing. At most shelters, dogs and especially cats can be held for only a limited time. If the pet’s family isn’t there at the critical time…. that pet will either be put down or adopted out. Most shelters do not post their intakes to a public database. Most owners cannot check the shelters as often as necessary and it is generally useless to just call or even send a flyer. You must go to a shelter in person and see for yourself. In a large urban shelter there may be hundreds of cats and / or dogs impounded at any time. Please encourage your local shelter to take advantage of the free, searchable database at petfbi.org.

Pet FBI “Special Agent” Teresa Scores Another Recovery!

Nike and Niko Renuited

Nike and Niko: Lost Dogs Recovered By Pet FBI “Special Agent” Teresa

These two fellas had a quick reunion shortly after being posted on Pet FBI Ohio thanks to our very own “special agent”, pal and frequent hero, Teresa!

Teresa lives in the area where they were missing so she hopped in the car to look for them. Teresa often follows a hunch when deciding where to drive and it paid off again today! The boys were trotting along dangerously close to a busy road when Teresa pulled over. She called for them, they ran to her and then hopped in her car!

You, Too Can Become a Pet FBI “Special Agent”!
Here are some things anyone can do to get lost pets back home without officially volunteering:

  • Keep an eye out for lost pets in your neighborhood. Follow the database for reports close to your zip to see what pets have gone missing in your area. If you are in Ohio, follow our Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page.
  • Be a cross-checker! Some people post a lost or found report in one place, like Craigslist or Facebook and stop there. They have heard of these big sites, but they don’t know about Pet FBI or any other web database. If you are have a good memory or a good system, you may be able to match up lost and found reports from various sites!
  • If you live near a pound or a shelter, you could volunteer to be the “go-to” lost and found person. Follow postings for lost and found pets on Pet FBI and various other resources and look for a match at the shelter. (This kind of thing is not high priority at most shelters where volunteers have all to do to care for the many animals.)
  • When you see a lost/found flyer around town, contact the people to tell them about Pet FBI.
  • Print out some Pet FBI flyers and post them in pet supply stores, convenience stores, community bulletin boards, etc. Just carry some around with you in your purse or in your car and post them when you come across a public bulletin board. Be sure to ask for permission if required.
  • Mention Pet FBI to your vet, your groomer, or your pet sitter. Ask them to post a Pet FBI flyer so people learn about it.

Miracle Reunion!

Lost and found Kitty

The lucky Miss Kitty:
Dumped, Rescued, and Traced Back to First Mom

Our dynamite Facebook Admin, Char, posted the following:

“Friends this is one of the most amazing conclusions our page has ever experienced.

Our Facebook friend Cat (yes, that’s her name) has utilized Pet FBI Ohio a few times over the years when she has lost or found a pet.

She posted the plight of her cat Miss Kitty mentioning she knew it was a long shot, but she had to give it a try. Miss Kitty had been missing since September 2015.

Miss Kitty was being fostered by a ‘friend’ during Cat’s move and while she transitioned into her new place. The two women had a falling out and the awful ‘friend’ took it out on Miss Kitty by not only dumping her out to fend for herself, but also tossing her from a moving car! Hopefully karma will work its magic on this vile woman the rest of her life.

Once I posted Miss Kitty’s plight I gasped in amazement 8 hours later. Stephanie commented that she was pretty certain she had adopted Miss Kitty from Friends for Life rescue group at a Petsmart – about 60 miles from where Miss Kitty was last seen – in October 2015.

Her new Mom was so gracious and she invited Cat to visit to determine if her new cat was indeed Miss Kitty.

IT WAS! Can you believe that?! I still can’t. It’s just mind blowing. Thank goodness for our pal Randi for being such a good friend of our page. New Mom Stephanie saw our post thanks to Randi’s share.

Miss Kitty’s new name is “Cinder” and Cat is so relieved knowing she is safe and very much adored and loved. Cinder’s new Mom has extended the invitation for Cat to visit anytime.

Anyone else have a tear in their eye?”

OBJECT LESSON:
1 -Never give up! It’s never too late to post
2- Do not underestimate the power of Facebook! Our Pet FBI Ohio Facebook page has 30,000 likes and a reach of 300,000

“Jack” Home Again, Thanks to Pet FBI Database!

Lost cat reunited

If only Jack could tell his tale of adventure!

Almost a month had gone by when Jack turned up eleven miles from where he went missing. An unlikely reunion – but it happened thanks to the Pet FBI database.

Dave & Andrea are Westerville Ohio residents that first noticed this kitty on 1/5/16. They struck out with a microchip and their search did not turn up  any lost cat flyers. They then searched the Pet FBI lost & found pet database (www.petfbi.org) and couldn’t believe their eyes. There was kitty’s lost cat report! He went missing on 12/11 and was found 11 miles from home!

Our lost & found pet database has been a central location for pet owners and finders to exchange information since 1998. It is a free service sponsored by our all-volunteer non-profit organization.

 

Boggie Found …”After 2 1/2 Very Long Freezing Cold Days”!

Lost Dog Found

Boggie and Mom, Right After His Recovery

Boggie’s family turned to Pet FBI when he went missing on a visit away from home. Here is his happy Mom’s account:

“I lost hope but your blog made me feel better.  Especially about dogs surviving in the cold.  We were in Cincinnati visiting my family for Christmas from Charlotte NC and the night before we were planning to leave, Boggie ran out of the yard to chase some deer around 10 pm. He was gone in minutes.  We searched until 1:30 am and started again at 5:30 am.  He has never done that before and really never leaves the yard.  He is a lab/boxer mix and such a big baby.  He sleeps on our laps and is afraid of his own shadow so the thought of him alone at night in the cold was frightening. Your site suggested that we post signs and Facebook messages, as well as visit all of the shelters and post on their sites.  We contacted the police dept and handed out flyers to postal workers in the area.  Boggie was spotted 3 miles away. We continued to search for another night and day (2 1/2 days total) until someone spotted him again being walked by someone in the area.  We went door to door and found him!!! We cannot thank you enough for your website and blog:)

OBJECT LESSONS:
1) Dogs can travel far and fast. Do not limit your search to the immediate neighborhood
2) People who lose a pet are in panic mode and not sure what to do. Follow the step-by-step action plan at petfbi.org.
3) For special situations like dogs lost way from home, consult our special advice page
4)  For hope and inspiration, read Pet FBI’s other blog posts about “Happy Tails” or successful recoveries, often against all odds.
5) Please do report “sightings” of free-roaming strays or dogs reported as lost. They help a lot.

The Importance of Microchips!

Lost Cat w microchip

Gone for a whole year – Recovered through microchip

Good Sam Darla sent us a message last month asking what steps she should take regarding this kitty that had been stopping by every evening for a few months. In addition to filing a report on our free lost and found pet database petfbi.org, I also suggested she stop by a vet to have her scanned for a microchip for free and guess what?

She had a chip! Her name is Penny and she had been missing for ONE YEAR!!!!

Unfortunately the reunion wasn’t as happy as everyone had hoped. Penny was spooked and didn’t recognize her family at first. But at least she’s home safe and sound thanks to Darla!!

About Microchips

A good permanent method of permanent pet ID is the microchip. A microchip is a tiny identification device, about the size of a grain of rice, that is implanted beneath the skin of your pet. Each chip contains a unique identification number. When a pet is found, it can be scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic. All shelters and vets will provide this service free of charge.

Many companies now offer microchips for pets. They are not terribly expensive. Often humane societies offer low-cost microchipping clinics, so ask your local humane society or consult your vet.