Last updated: 8 Oct, 2021
Published on: 13 Aug, 2020
A cat owner's journey to find her missing cat
We do our best to make sure that our pets are safe at all times, and no matter how careful we are, even the smallest blip can sometimes lead to pets getting lost.
When Minnie went missing earlier this year after wandering out of the house accidentally, owner Tarsha, a member of the PetRescue community, didn’t leave any stone unturned to bring precious Minnie home.
Since Minnie is a very shy cat, Tarsha knew she had to double her efforts and raise as much awareness as possible. Access to online technology and support from her community was a huge plus in gathering support and spreading the word about Minnie.
And here are some tips from Tarsha’s massive campaign that helping bring Minnie home:
💪 Never give up!
“For each person who told me to give up the search, there were 10 more people with stories of finding their cat weeks and months later. These stories were a much-needed boost to help maintain momentum and positivity.”
It’s important to never lose hope; even if there’s no paw knocking on your door in the first 48 hours. If you have already looked everywhere and checked with the local councils, give your pet some time to find their way home or be found by a human who can check their microchip and get in touch with you.
Keep in mind that not all pets are the same. While some may be more expressive and run to humans for help, shy cats like Minnie may just take a while before they gather the courage to venture out and find their home.
🆘 Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If your pet has wandered off, it’s possible that they may be close by hiding in your neighbour’s yards or sheds. More helping hands are always better than a few so be sure to check with people who live in your area immediately.
In fact, Tarsha was overwhelmed by all the help and support that she received from her neighbours, some who even let her install trail cameras and food in their yards. One of the wonderful locals, Daphne, even walked to Tarsha’s house for an hour with her walker to ask about Minnie’s flyer!
“Receiving over 100 text messages from people with potential sightings of Minnie gave me the reassurance my campaign was working. My local community were invested in the search with us, and I knew I needed them to help track down one very scared cat who would most likely be hiding,”
Tarsha put an enormous community billboard for little Minnie
📰 Make sure the pet is front and centre!
Never one to back down in a tough situation, Tarsha printed 1500+ flyers, 60 posters and banners, and erected a MASSIVE billboard in her neighbourhood with Minnie’s face enlarged enough to make sure everyone will remember her if she ever crosses their paths!
If you’ve lost your pet, one tip out of Tarsha’s manual is to make as much use of traditional methods as you can. Flyers and posters with a big bold font and enlarged photos are VERY effective in reaching a wider audience, such as seniors who are around more often in the community but may not be as active on social media.
📱 Get the local community involved via social media
Tarsha set up a Facebook page for her campaign called “Finding Minnie” immediately after her cat went missing. It was a great opportunity for the local community to come together and post or get updates about possible sightings, and share any photos of cats resembling Minnie.
Technology has been a turning point for pet owners like Tarsha, enabling them with more avenues to find their lost pet than before. Thanks to smartphones and social media, locating missing pets has increasingly become more than just a Hail Mary, but a real shot at reuniting with their furry.
🐕 Check the local pound
Tarsha was sure to keep a constant eye out for Minnie in her local pounds and shelters.
“I contacted all relevant pounds and shelters by phone, email and site visits within two days of Minnie going missing. Knowing scared cats like Minnie don’t fare well in our shelters I made sure I visited them every three days”
📞 Consult the experts
To be sure that she’d covered all her bases, Tarsha contacted local volunteers who have experience with lost pet searches and looked for helpful information on animal welfare resources such as G2Z or the PetRescue library.
“Connecting with experts in the field of finding lost pets helped clarify what I already knew and gave me extra expertise and action points I could take to ensure I was doing all the right things in our search.”
We’re over-the-moon that although it took seven weeks, Minnie eventually found her way back to her humans when someone reported seeing her 💚
Although she lost a few pounds and looked worse for the wear, her family was ecstatic to have her back and nursed her back to her adorable cute self.
An elated Tarsha and Minnie update well-wishers about Minnie’s homecoming via the campaign’s Facebook page
Make sure you bookmark these helpful resources:
Looking for more information on Minnie’s campaign? Check out the ‘Finding Minnie’ Facebook page