What could have happened?
back to main lost
pet advice page
We know from both our own experience and
many years now of helping other people with lost pets, that one
of the questions that will be heavy on your mind is "what could
have happened?". In the absence of not knowing, sometimes awful
possibilities can start to enter your head (including having
nightmares at night...). But your pet could be missing for a
number of reasons, it's important not to get "stuck" on one
theory when there are so many
possibilities which all need investigating.
So it's very important you do
everything on our
day by day strategy plan as that will
cover off all these possible scenarios below.
Went walkies. Followed someone
or got chased and can't find their way home.
Door knocking, fliers,
petsonthenet ad, posters. Calling your pet,
especially when it is quieter ie dusk
Been shut in a garage,
outhouse, car, wood shed, under the house etc.
Actions: Door knocking - ask people to check
their sheds etc. Keep a notebook of all you
speak to and their addresses so you know who
you have talked with and who you still need
to talk with. It quickly becomes a blur. Note
houses where people seem to be away, these
are prime contenders for your cat being
locked in by accident. Every person you talk
with leave them a copy of your flier with a
photo of your pet and your phone number on
Sometimes resident pets,
humans or children make life so unbearable
for a pet (especially cats) that they go
away and refuse to come home again
Actions: Door knocking, fliers,
petsonthenet ad, posters
Highly unlikely. See
advice from the NZ Police about stolen pets.
Actions: If absolutely known to be
stolen, report to Police.
Transported to another location by
accident (or on purpose by disgruntled
neighbour or ex etc?
If your pet loves car travel,
this is an option, especially with Burmese,
they often travel large distances by car (or
boat, caravan or truck..)
Actions: This is where
checking petsonthenet.co.nz daily and
having an ad with us is invaluable.
Gone back to your old house?
Have you moved in the last three months
or so? Some cats will try to return "home"
and some have gone very long distances to
Keep checking petsonthenet found pets daily.
Advise new people at house and the
surrounding neighbours of the old house -
leave them a flyer. if your cat is possibly
sighted around the old house, consider
humane trap from your local SPCA or Hirepool
etc to safely catch your cat.
Removed by Animal Control or SPCA?
note should be left prominently if your pet
was removed for some reason from your
Actions: Check for notes in box, on
door, contact Animal Control
Sick or Injured?
Actions: Check in nearby quiet dark
hiding places, under the house (or
neighbours houses), under bushes. Call all
vets, including after hours vets. Check petsonthenet daily for SPCA
Sadly being run over by a car is a common reason
pets become missing. They can also be accidentally poisoned ie
by antifreeze, trampled by stock, or cats and dogs can become
wedged or hung in trees or fences.
Actions: Check property and nearby
roads, verges and bushes in case hit by a
car. Call your local council and find out
who removes deceased pets on council
property. They should keep a register of
description and place deceased pets were
removed from. Call every few days to check.
Look up at trees in the area.
Died of natural causes?
Was your pet
very old, or sick? Sometimes they will go
away somewhere quiet to die if they are unwell or very
Actions: Search the type of places they choose
when unwell such as
under your house, or the neighbours house,
under a bush, behind wood piles. Anywhere
quiet and preferable dark-ish
If you have appreciated our advice, support and free
support us with your donation so we can continue to
reunite and rehome more pets throughout NZ. Every dollar
helps, thank you.