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Anatomy of a Search

Initially, the search for a lost pet tends to be frenzied, chaotic and emotional.  Strive to slow down, calm down, and establish order.  Engage in activities and techniques with the highest statistical probability of bringing your beloved pet home!

Trying to envision what that entails?  If so, please read on…then, if you think professional help will increase the effectiveness of your search, contact us at (951)445-2535 to discuss implementation. 

 Search 101
Historically, all searches, whether animal or otherwise , are comprised of three phases:  first  –   narrow the search field, second  –  positive identification of the missing, third  –  recovery of the missing.

Phase I – Strive to narrow the search field with sightings, first by doing a quick search of the area on foot and by car.  Enlist the help of family and neighbors.  Start hanging neon posters – NOT fliers, which are too small for drivers to see.  Save fliers for handing out, placing on doorsteps and areas with pedestrian traffic.  Start your signage close to home, but with each passing day, EXPAND OUT as missing pets can travel much farther than most families expect.  Do not make the mistake of thinking a pet will not cross that busy road, freeway, irrigation ditch, etc.  Draw an ever-larger circle on a map and let that be your guide – NOT the perceived geographic boundaries – pets routinely cross them – really!

Phase II – Once you have a reported sighting, it is vital to get a positive identification of the missing animal, either by a family member or from a picture procured from a Good Samaritan or wildlife camera.  Technology, in the form of cel phone cameras, texting, and wildlife cameras are huge advancements in successful pet recovery!

Phase III – After the missing pet’s identify has been positively confirmed, comes the most challenging phase for most pet’s beloved families – shifting gears from “pursuit” to “recovery” which requires mentally shifting gears from chasing to luring.  This seemingly more passive procedure goes against the heart – we tend to want to continue to chase after our wayward animals, which becomes a huge detriment to the ultimate goal of having our beloved pets back in our arms!  The specific circumstances of the search (location & proximity, missing pet’s profile, predator concentration, etc.) at this point determine which luring/capturing techniques (i.e. owner presence, feeding station, surveillance, humane trapping, etc.) have the highest probability of successful recovery.