If you have a lost pet, it is important to reach out to your neighbors. The first priority is to actually speak to every single person that lives in the vicinity of your missing pet.
Start with a 3-house radius and then expand outwards – this should be sufficient for most pets. Go door-to-door with a friend or family member and talk to people.
If they are not home, you aren't comfortable with knocking on doors, or your personal logistics don't make this feasible (maybe you work days, are out of the area where your pet went missing, etc.) you have to leave some information for your neighbors above and beyond a flyer.
Why? A flyer just contains basic information. Your neighbors will need direction as to a course of action - you need their help!!!
Here is an example of a letter to leave, along with your flyer:
Dear Neighbor- I need your help!
My dog/cat____________ went missing on _______________! My dog / cat is friendly, but timid and no doubt frightened, so it probably will not come to you. I am searching everywhere to find my lost dog / cat. I need your permission to let me come onto your property and search the outside perimeter. Please call me when you are home and I can come by.
If you have any questions you can call me at ________________.
In addition, please let me know if:
- You have smelled any foul odors coming from possible hiding places such as in crawl spaces, under decks or in sheds. Also, please let me know if you found any fur or remains. It may be upsetting, but I would like to know.
- You have seen any loose or stray dogs / cats in the area.
- You feed your pets or stray animals outside. My dog / cat may be feeding there to!
- You had anyone at your home the day my dog / cat went missing. They may have seen something!
- You know if anyone went on vacation on or around the time my dog / cat went missing.
- You know of any empty of abandoned properties where my dog / cat could be hiding.
- You know of something unusual that happened around the day my dog / cat went missing.
- You know of someone in the area who takes cares of stray pets.
There is a reward for any information leading to the recovery of my dog / cat!
In addition, you may want to include any special requests of your neighbors, such as leaving their garage door cracked if your cat might have gotten stuck, asking them for permission to search their property with Search Dogs, if they will post a flyer at their work or in their yard, etc.
Contributed by Annalisa Berns, Pet Detective www.PetSearchAndRescue.com / 800-925-2410