When a pet disappears, it is critical, what you do during the first few hours and days. These pages contain general advice for searching for a lost pet, but we recommend that you call our hotline, so that our trained volunteers can go through what has happened and give you specific information on what to do. Hotline 040 724 8614 (if the volunteer in charge does not speak English, you will be given a phone number to someone who does).

The critical thing is that you will not recruit a large search group. That will only frighten the lost animal.

What to do when your dog disappears?

Make scented trails from the place where your dog disappeared, as well as from other possible directions back to your home or to a chosen feeding spot. Make sure the trails you make are safe for the dog to follow, ie. they do not cross a dangerous road etc.

Scented trails are made by dragging tights containing tuna or any other strongly scented delicious food on the ground. The trails length depends on the distance between the place of disappearance and home/feeding spot.. Many times a runaway dog will know how to get home along a familiar trail or from a feeding spot nearby.

Either at home or by the feeding spot, light up a disposable barbecue and grill sausages or some other smelly food. The barbecue will spread the smell of food long distances. Moreover, you will be sitting calmly by the barbecue and not running around spreading stress smells. If you don’t get hold of a disposable barbecue, you can microwave some smelly food and leave it to the feeding place.

Report the lost dog as widely as possible. In the ideal situation you will stay near the feeding location, and family members or friends will do the reporting. When making ads to post, add a picture of the dog, a written description of it, and your own contact information. Do not include the dog's name or any specific sightings of it. Notify your nearby animal shelters (http://karkurit.fi/loytoelaintarhat). Report your lost dog on the internet (www.eLassi.fiwww.karkurit.fi) and on Facebook in the "karkurit" group. Post lost animal posters on lamp posts and on the announcement boards of local shops etc. Distribute lost animal posters to private mailboxes in your area.

Gather and preserve your animal's scent in case a pet trailing dog will be needed to help you in your search. The scent can be, for example, the dog's bed, toys, collar or brush. Preserve the scented item in a clean and sealed glass jar or plastic bag.

If you see the lost animal, try to calm down the area and act as calm as possible. Try to lure the dog to you by “baby talk” or any other tone that your dog finds pleasing (but do not call him to come to you), a toy or some delicious treats or food. Do not shout or run after the dog, but instead try to get the dog to come to you. To make it easier for the dog, kneel down and look the other direction.

What to do when your cat disappears?

Give the cat an opportunity to return home the same way it ran off. Leave a window or balcony door open. Leave a familiar scent close to the place where the cat disappeared, for example, your shirt or the cat's bed, as well as any strong-smelling cat food your pet would find delicious.

Cats often stay within a radius of 300-500 meters. Search any nearby garbage sheds, barns, crevices, cubbyholes, or other hiding spots. Cats respond well to scented trails which are made by dragging tights containing tuna or any other strongly scented delicious food on the ground. The trails length depends on the distance between the place of disappearance and home/feeding spot.

Notify the police and your local veterinarian, as well as your nearby animal shelters (http://karkurit.fi/loytoelaintarhat). Report your lost cat on the internet (www.eLassi.fiwww.karkurit.fi) and on facebook in the "karkurit" group. Post lost animal posters on lamp posts and on the announcement boards of local shops etc. Distribute lost animal posters to private mailboxes in your area.

Gather and preserve your animal's scent in case a pet trailing dog will be needed to help you in your search. The scent can be, for example, the cat's bed, toys, collar or brush. Preserve the scented item in a clean and sealed glass jar or plastic bag.

If you see the lost animal, try to calm down the area and act as calm as possible. Try to lure the cat to you by using your voice, a toy or some delicious treats or food. Do not shout or run after the cat, but instead try to get the cat to come to you.