1. Begin your search immediately in and around your home. Check any enclosed spaces or favourite haunts of your pet, such as under bushes or behind the shed. Search areas repeatedly and at different times of the day.
2. Search around the neighbourhood and check with your neighbours; one of them may have taken your pet in if he was found roaming. Ask if you can search their yards and garages.
3. Report your pet missing to the company that holds his microchip database. Contact local animal shelters, police, the animal control agency and the humane society. Depending on his character, if your pet hasn't shown up by his regular feeding time or bedtime, for example, file a lost animal report with the pet shelters and animal agencies in your area. The more agencies you register him missing with, the better.
4. Check animal agency websites regularly because some are updated every couple of hours. Visit agencies in person, especially if your pet wasn't wearing any identification. Check with local animal hospitals in case your pet was in an accident.
5. Make posters with a full description and recent colour photograph of your pet. Distribute them around your neighbourhood and in neighbours' mailboxes, as well as to veterinarian offices, supermarkets and local businesses.
6. Place a lost ad in your community newspaper. Ask your local radio station if they'll mention your lost pet; offer a reward for any information leading to your pet's safe return.
This story was originally titled "When your pet is missing" in the March 2008 issue.
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