Animals go missing from their homes and families for any number of reasons, most of them associated with some level of human intervention. Whether these situations are due to accident (the small child who hasn’t yet learned to close the door), carelessness (the worker or home owner who failed to latch the gate properly), are unforeseen (car accident) or outright malicious (pet predators trolling for free animals to exploit in any number of ways [a robust topic for another day]), the vast majority of pet-escapes can be eliminated by simply securing pets properly.
Whenever possible, lock your pets inside your home, with doors and windows closed and locked. Keep them in an area of the home not visible to strangers through windows.
If your pet has access to the yard, install a hard lock on the gate rather than just a latch, and keep it locked. If you have a jumper, coyote rolling bars are one very good option. If your dog is a runner (and some breeds are especially known to be) please investigate the various options for both physical exercise and mental stimulation available (another robust topic for another day).
When traveling with your pet, confine them in a sturdy crate, belted into the seat. Thousands of pets are lost yearly due to traffic accidents where they’re either thrown from the vehicle, or run off as soon as help arrives and opens the doors. A panicked animal will rarely return easily to anyone, even the owner.
And finally, be aware of occasions when pets are more likely to escape and take extra precautions to insure they’re secured:
· Any occasion where fireworks may be employed – New Years, July 4, Cinco de Mayo, etc.
· Occasions where workers will be on your property – Gardener Day, Housekeeper Day, Contract
Worker events, Moving Day, etc.
· Weather conditions that can be problematic – windy days, lightning/thunder/hail events, etc.
· Holidays/Parties where guests will be at your home.
· Days/Events particularly challenging for pets – July 4 and Halloween.