LOOKING FOR A LOST PET
Visit this page for lost and displaced pets.
Doobert.com connects organizations that need help transporting pets out of their care, rescues able to receive those pets, and volunteers who can safely get them there. Even if you don’t live in the storm's path, Florence highlights the critical importance of a reliable transport plan year-round. Any organization that needs help transporting or can receive displaced pets, and any volunteer who can help drive animals to safety after Florence has left, should please sign up at doobert.com/florence.
APPROACHING A LOST PET
This section has tips on approaching lost pets, especially during a disaster like Hurricane Florence.
Tips for Helping a Lost Pet
Right now is a difficult time for pet owners who have displaced pets. We want to do all we can to help. One aspect of this process is how to approach lost pets, especially during a disaster like Hurricane Florence.
How do dog and cat reactions differ?
Cats and dogs in terror mode can't think clearly. When the fight-or-flight impulse kicks in, even dogs that otherwise know their way home panic and run for miles, while cats tend to hide nearby and refuse to come out when you call.
When approaching a lost pet
- Set out food, water and/or treats to lure them out.
- For dogs, don't approach directly or call to them if they're on the run outside.
- Getting down on the ground in a non-threatening pose may work. Lie down on your back, and often the dog will come closer to investigate.
(Partial sourcing from Jim Tedford, PetSafe Shelter Advocate)
- How a cat behaves when in its normal territory will influence how it behaves when it becomes “lost” or displaced. Cat owners need a search strategy based on the specific behavior of your cat.
- The primary technique to recover a missing cat should be to obtain permission from all neighbors to enter their yards and conduct an aggressive, physical search for the missing cat (and to set baited humane traps there when necessary).
- Don’t assume “wild animal” behavior means a lost cat is automatically feral. Determine if the new “feral” is actually someone’s fearful pet cat that escaped outdoors, perhaps several days/weeks before it was found.
Best Friends resources for approaching lost pets
Found a Stray Dog or Cat: What to Do
Scared Dog: How to Approach a Fearful Dog
Disaster preparedness for pets