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What would you do if you lost your pet? The first thing most people think of is to put up flyers around the neighborhood. Some might go knocking door to door. Others might post an ad to Craigslist to reach a wider audience. What you may not realize is there are actually services out there which can help spread the word about your lost dogs or other cherished pets.

You may have been watching television before and seen an alert come across the top of the screen notifying your area of a missing or kidnapped child. These alerts are highly useful because they make it easier to locate the child before he or she leaves the area they were last seen. The same concept applies to lost pets; the further away from your home the pet wanders, the smaller the chance your pet will be returned home safe and sound.

Here’s how this type of lost dog finder service works…when you realize your pet is missing, immediately contact the service. They’ll need basic info about you and your pet, and a photo is also helpful. They will then send an automated phone call to all businesses, residences, veterinarians, etc. in your vicinity notifying them to be on the lookout for your pet, as well as faxing the information to local businesses. Many of these services also have large social network followings, so they’ll also send a message out to their Twitter and Facebook followers. The key to making this service work is to contact them as soon as you notice your pet is missing. The more time that lapses, the less successful your effort will be.

Another important thing to do is to check your local shelter for lost dogs and cats. There is always a chance that someone picked up your pet and brought them in to the animal shelter. If your pet is microchipped, the shelter will scan the pet and contact you based on the information embedded in the microchip. However, there have been instances of poorly placed microchips or poor scanning equipment where a microchip went undetected; therefore, it’s always a good idea to place a phone call and see if your pet was admitted to the shelter.

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