Losing a cat or dog can be very stressful for any owners. Find out in this article how to make a lost poster to let your neighbours know about your pet’s whereabouts.
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Losing a pet can be a very stressful and worrisome situation for the owner. Whether your dog has run away, or your cat has broken its routine and has not been back for a couple of days, one of the solutions to find your missing animal is putting up lost posters.
When a cat or dog has run away or gotten lost, likely, the animal is still roaming around the neighbourhood. By putting up lost posters, your neighbours will be able to keep an eye out for your pet and help you find them. Notifying your neighbours is crucial. A lost poster will also help any passers-by get in contact with you if they see your animal stray somewhere.
If you have lost a cat, they might have gotten stuck in a garden shed, garage or cellar, so don’t hesitate to ask your neighbours to check for your pet on their properties.
A missing cat poster or a lost dog poster should be short, effective and informative. It should be read quickly by pedestrians and motorists and placed in a high traffic area. The information should be short and clear, with bold letters to be read from far away.
A readable font with bold letters on a white A4 paper is ideal. Do not hesitate to use colours like red that will make your information stand out. Avoid coloured backgrounds as it requires a lot of ink and risk making your poster hard to read.
Firstly, you will need to fill in the basic information about your lost cat or dog: their name, age and sex. These will make it easier to recognise the animal and to ensure that he or she is the right one.
The name of the animal, for example, will allow the person who finds them to call them and to check if the cat or dog recognise their name.
Don't forget to include a recent picture of your pet, because otherwise it will be difficult for someone who doesn't know your pet to recognise them. The picture is therefore the central element of the poster.
Once the main information is written, you should not forget to add some additional elements that will specify the profile of the animal. Here you can specify the breed, the length of the coat or the character of your pet.
Specifying the animal's classification in the case of a purebred dog or cat is also important to increase their chances of being recognised. Finally, whether your pet is a long-haired or a short-haired cat, a male or a female dog, are all key pieces of information for the eventual benefactor who will find them.
Specifying whether your animal is shy or fearful will also allow people to be wary and take precautions before approaching them. If you have an indoor cat, they will probably be frightened when outdoors. On the other hand, adding that they are very sociable or affectionate can reassure people that they are not dangerous.
Once the animal's profile has been described, it is important to specify the place and date of the disappearance, in order to encourage searches in a nearby area. This will also help to avoid reports that are too far away from the place where the animal disappeared and therefore give false hope.
You can then indicate whether your pet has a microchip or tattoo. This will allow the person who finds the animal to be certain that you are the owner if your animal is identified. All they have to do is go to a warden or a veterinarian. A chipped animal will always be easier to find.
Be careful, however, never to include your pet's national identification number in your flyer. This could allow ill-intentioned people to impersonate you and steal your pet.
Another essential point is to always leave a way to contact you on your lost cat or dog ad. Ideally, leave your email address as well as your phone number. The more communication channels you provide, the easier it will be to get in touch with you and the quicker your pet will be returned to you.
Finally, you can also add a title to your wanted notice, a QR code or even a small reward to motivate citizens to bring your pet back.
Now that your posters are ready, it is time to go and put them up in your surroundings. In the case of a lost pet in the countryside or in town, you should put up posters in the area where your pet has disappeared, to make sure that people in that area are aware that your pet has escaped. You can also put signs on your gate or on the walls of your house.
After that, you will have to give priority to public places such as shops, shop windows, billboards, bus stops and train stations. These high-traffic areas will ensure that your advert is visible and maximise your chances of finding the animal. You can also place them on poles and lampposts to catch the eye of pedestrians and people in cars. However, remember to laminate the posters you leave outside to prevent them from becoming illegible if it rains.
You should also place posters in your neighbourhood as lost animals tend to roam around there. Don’t forget to take down these posters once you have found your pet.
Publishing a PDF file of your poster with your information on Facebook is also a great way to reunite you and your pet, as it will help you reach a wider audience.
Other strategic places to put your posters are veterinary practices. They can easily spread the word to people in the neighbourhood and increase the number of people who know about the problem. In addition, pet owners who go to the vet's office will probably feel more concerned about the loss of your pet, since they also own one.
The purpose of shelters and wardens is to protect animals. It is therefore very possible that your animal was taken in by one of these associations, especially if they were injured, without collar or not identified.
Animals found in the street without any information about them will often end up in veterinary clinics or shelters. If you have a missing dog or cat, call the shelters and drop off your posters, as this will make it easier to find your pet if they are recovered there.
Another way to let people know about your missing pet is by handing out flyers. You can print out A5 flyers (two flyers on one A4 paper) which is the ideal size for letterboxes. You should use the same important information on the flyers like the ones on the posters.
Losing a beloved animal can be stressful. Your head is all over the place which might lead to missing some important information that you should write. If you can, try being proactive by creating a found poster before you lose your animal. In this way, you will have a clear mind and write all your pet’s most important information.