Our pets are such an integral part of our lives, enriching each day we get to spend with them. We must stay educated on keeping them safe in all aspects. Almost 2 million pets are stolen every year in the United States. It’s not something we often think about, and could never imagine it happening to us. We here at Space Coast Pet Services care about you and your pets and want to give you some information and tips to best ensure pet theft never happens to you and what to do in the scary event it does.
- Busy with your daily responsibilities? Performing daily tasks alongside your pet may be difficult for most people, and you may just be tempted to put them outside in the yard unattended. Consider enrolling your dog in doggy daycare or hiring a dog walker. Pet drop-in services aren’t just for dogs! We can stop by and give your cat a fun and invigorating play session.
- Pet Theft Awareness Day happens on the 14th of February. Thieves prefer small dogs, pure breeds, and cats. Their reach has been extended to big dogs, which are friendly, and mixed breeds, too, if they can be lured easily. Always keep an eye on your pets when outside!.
- Neutering and spaying your pet is always a great idea for many reasons. February also happens to be National Spay and Neuter Awareness Month. Neutered and spayed pets are less attractive to thieves because they cannot be bred and used to make a profit from puppies. They also don’t have the wanderlust unaltered animals have and could be stolen when and if they roam away from home.
- What about having your pet microchipped? It’s a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to have permanent identification on your pet forever. It takes less than a minute for a thief to dispose of your pet’s collar, which should always be worn with current ID tags. This action makes it difficult for them to turn up at animal hospitals or shelters. Microchipping isn’t enough – make sure you register your microchip with your current contact information. A free option is a non-profit organization Michaelson Found Animals.
- A large percentage of cat owners do allow their cats to free roam outside. We know and understand cats really enjoy the freedom associated with being able to roam. There are so many much safer options available to cat owners to satisfy these desires. The options are endless for enriching cat toys and interactive games. There are also extremely clever “catios” available to buy and also some really clever DIY options. They are small enclosed areas you can insert in your window to safely give your cat that outdoor interaction they want and need. Your cat really can enjoy life safely indoors.
Once a Pet is Stolen or Lost
- Get the word out to as many contacts as possible. If you live in our immediate service area, you can contact Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services – They have an extensive list of rescue organizations you can put the word out to. Also, consider the Humane Society and veterinarian offices. You can also visit the Brevard Lost Pets website. It’s a good idea to have photos of your pet on hand and a detailed description in case they are needed for an investigation.
- If your pet has a microchip (which we highly recommend you do), be sure the information is up to date with the company it’s through.
- Post fliers in your neighborhood and public spaces. The flier should have your pet’s photo, name, color, breed, weight, and other unique characteristics. Make a FREE flier, alert social media and more by clicking here.
- Making use of social media. Create a public post on Facebook and post to not only your personal page but share with your local lost and found pet pages, NextDoor, and any other community pages you can. One example is the Facebook group Lost and Found Pets of Brevard County.
- Look out for advertisements that match your pet’s description. Someone may be trying to sell your pet through an online social media outlet or at local swap meets or flea markets.
Although it’s something we dread to think about, having one of our pets stolen or lost, it’s always a great idea to become aware and take proper precautions. Our pets depend on us to keep them happy, safe, and healthy, so you can never be too cautious or prepared for something bad to happen.
Melanie is the owner and founder of Brevard’s premier trusted in-home pet care company. With a Sociology & Criminal Justice degree from the University of Tennessee, she took her corporate security background and combined it with her lifelong passion for animals – that’s how Space Coast Pet Services was born in 2016! She is certified in Pet First Aid & CPR, insured, and proudly completed a full background check successfully. She is committed to ongoing training and education for herself and her team. To learn more, click here.
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