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Unresolved pet loss. Part one: When your pet has not come home

People going through the unresolved loss of a much loved pet, often say it’s the "not knowing" that hurts so much. They don't know if, or when, to grieve. Or when, or how, to stop looking. Or how to even contemplate, let alone begin to accept, that a much-loved family member may not be coming home again.

“It really pains me to say this”, they will say “but I would rather know, than not know - even if it was the worst possible news”. I can honestly say I’ve heard these words thousands of times from people whose pet is still lost. I’ve even said it myself as I have been through the experience of having a lost pet several times.

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Unresolved pet loss. Part two: Finding an end point

If you have searched for a long time, and when you start to feel the time is right, it can help to think of a "closure date". This is a date when you give yourself permission to "close off" your search. It could be months away from now, but it gives you (and your family) an end point. Only you will know when that time feels right for you.

As you approach your pre-decided "closure date", start to think about how you may want to use that time that will be freed once you’re no longer doing the flier drops, door knocks and internet searches. Even the time you spend worrying. What will you replace that time with? What will you do with that time that’s positive for you and moves you forward?

 

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Lost Pet Rewards

Should I offer a reward?

I get asked this a lot and although there is no right or wrong answer, most lost pet experts worldwide generally say no. But at the end of the day it’s definitely your own personal choice.

In New Zealand, I firmly believe 99.9 percent of people genuinely WANT to help you find your pet. So, a reward is generally not necessary. I have seen thousands of pets reunited purely through the goodness of people, with no reward.

 

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Lost Birds ARE Found Again

The most important thing I want you to know if your bird is lost, is that it doesn’t mean he or she is lost forever. This firm knowledge comes from my 15 years of experience with lost birds. I’ve seen large numbers of lost birds successfully found again. So please throw away the common, yet incorrect, belief that lost birds are never found. It’s not only untrue, it’s unhelpful because it paralyses action, which vastly reduces the chances of finding your bird. Birds are usually found very quickly, most often in the first few days, so speed is of the essence to find a lost bird.

Another surprising fact is how far a flighted bird (with unclipped wings) can fly… a long way! A large parrot from Onehunga was found in Anawhata on the West Coast. That’s about 35 km east in a straight line as the crow (or parrot in this case) flies.

 

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Dog On The Run

How to calm your fearful or panicked lost dog

rosieYour dog is on the run, panic stricken. You finally find your dog some distance away, but he or she is too scared to come to you. What do you do?

First, don’t run after your dog. This could make him or her run further - and a dog can outrun you! Running after a dog can bring out a fight or flight fear response for the dog. This can have the unintended effect of making him or her more scared each time humans approach.

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NZCAR

For added security and to increase the chance of your lost pet getting home, register with the NZCAR.

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The SPCA is New Zealand's leading animal welfare organisation, and a stakeholder of the NZCAR.

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LostPet.co.nz is proud to partner with Neighbourly to help more lost pets get home.

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