The night is long and filled with angst when a beloved pet has escaped the fence or slipped out the door.

Thoughts of “where could he be” and “she must be so scared” circle over and over. It’s not a night I’d wish on any pet parent.

Great advice for pet parents — Prepare & prevent!

To make sure that night never happens or is very short if it does, here is some great advice for pet parents. Before your pet is lost there are many things you can do to prepare and even prevent it from happening.

Some dogs could give Houdini a lesson in escaping from their back yard!

Spay & Neuter your pets!

There are so many reasons to have your pet spayed or neutered and keeping them from wandering off is near the top of the list.


This is the fastest and easiest way to ensure your pet is returned to you when they are found. Check with your vet to see if your pet already has a chip and make sure the information on it is current.

Microchipping is one of the best ways of helping other people get your pet back to you! It’s important to keep your information for the microchip up-to-date.

If your pet wears a collar …

Make sure they have a tag that’s up-to-date.

Take a walk around your fence line regularly

To inspect for weak points or problem areas.

Keep your fence maintained and check frequently for openings. Even a small opening can be enlarged to help a dog escape from your yard; especially if your dog loves to dig!

Introduce your pets to your neighbors.

If they know your furry kids they’ll be able to give accurate information in the event of an escape.

Create a lost pet flier/social media template — ahead of time!

This is an easy one to do beforehand and will allow you to get searching quickly. Keys to creating a good flyer are having a clear picture, description and contact info. Keep it simple and concise. Canva is an app that can help you prep a template quickly, and for free.

Click on the image above to view LKNConnect’s Guide to Local Pet Services

If you do lose your pet, here’s what you can do …

Now, it’s time to take action — your Houdini Hound or Curious Cat has escaped. Here are some steps to take to get your furry friend home safely.

Contact your neighbors

They are the most likely people to have seen your pet. Try to find out when and where they were last seen. You can add this info to your pre-made flier to narrow the search.

Contact Animal Control

If someone finds a lost pet they are required to contact Animal Control who will immediately scan the pet for a microchip. If the info is up to date, they should be calling you. If not, it’s still good to check.

Blast your social media with the template you created

Make the post public and ask your network to share far and wide. The more people that see it, the more likely someone will recognize your pet and contact you.

Print flyers to take to local veterinary offices

Finders of pets will often take them to a vet to scan for that microchip.

By following these tips, we hope you can quickly find your pet, if it becomes lost.

Future hopes for a quick return

I certainly hope you never experience that long night, but if you do, know that myself and all the pet lovers out there are hoping for a quick return of your fur baby. 

Tips to Prevent Lost Pets is part 1 of a 2-part series. Next week, Leah lets us know what to do if we FIND a pet! — EH Stafford, Managing Editor

Leah Henrichsen
Animal City Haven

After a car accident in 2019, Leah founded AnimalCity. This non-profit organization is dedicated to rehoming pets whose people have passed away or who have become incapacitated. AnimalCity does this by helping pet parents make a detailed plan for each of their pets. And then they help enact that plan. Check out the website at AnimalCity is a haven for orphan pets! 

Last Spring our Director of Non-profits, Margi Kyle, interviewed Leah Henrichsen about the mission and beginning challenges of starting her non-profit, Animal City Haven. Click here to view the video. — EH Stafford, Managing Editor.

In 2022, LKNConnect will feature outstanding non-profits and service organizations in the Lake Norman community. Margi Kyle, Director of Non-Profits at LKNConnect and Founder of Little Smiles NC, will be sharing these great organizations with you. — EH Stafford, Managing Editor

Contact Margi Kyle, at

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