In the rare instance when a pet manages to escape, it is important to inform the owners (or their emergency contact) and Pawshake right away.
Please get in touch and select ‘Emergency’. Continue to keep the owner and Pawshake updated throughout the process.
- If it's a dog, walk the streets calling out the pet's name, ask your friends and family to help. It's important to call out the pet's name in a normal, happy voice so that they don't get frightened.
- If it's a cat, ensure you've thoroughly checked inside and around your home including in sheds, confined spaces and under the house.
- Tell the neighbours and get them to check their property. Bring treats, their favourite toy or your pet with you. Sometimes, seeing or hearing something familiar will entice the lost pet to come out if they are hiding.
- Call your local council pound, all local vets and the nearest SPCA to report the pet missing.
- Check nearby areas where the pet may have tried to run away to. For example, nearby parks, bushes or quiet alleyways
- Join any lost pets Facebook groups for your suburb or city and share a photo and details about the pet.
- Try using https://www.lostpet.co.nz/
- Leave the garage door or side gate slightly ajar. Cats prefer to sneak back home and are quite commonly caught sneaking home in the early hours of the morning.
- If it has been more than 24 hours, print out flyers and distribute them around your neighbourhood.
If you spot the pet and it is wary of you, it is important not to chase it. Instead:
- Sit down.
- Turn your body so your back or side is to the pet.
- Keep your eyes averted and bow your head so as to look non-threatening.
- Toss tasty treats (hot dogs, chicken, smelly cheese, etc.) behind you or to the side of you.
- Don’t talk.
- Wait patiently for the dog to approach you. Don’t make any sudden movements, but continue to toss treats.
- Don’t grab the pet when they get close, but wait patiently and build trust.
- Speak softly, but if they back away, stop talking and just continue to toss treats until they trust you enough to come closer.
- If it’s a dog and it’s trying to run away as an attempt to get you to chase and play a game, do not chase after the dog. Instead, call its name wave a treat or toy and make excited noises as you run in the opposite direction. This will entice the dog to chase after you. Wait until the dog is close enough and tempt it with treats and toys.
To prevent these incidents, it is important to make sure your home is ready to receive guest pets, please make sure to check that:
- Your garden gates and fences are secure and high enough
- There is no furniture or other things that the dog could use to climb over the fence
- Your windows are closed, or they have a secure screen in them
- If you have a balcony: make sure cats cannot access the area, unless it’s enclosed securely with windows or cat-secure netting. If you let the guest dog access an open balcony, make sure to monitor the dog at all times.
- Consider purchasing a pet gate, if you do not have double doors securing the access from your house/apartment to outside