Pet Detective Shares How to Keep Pets from Going Missing
When a pet goes missing, it can be an incredibly distressing experience for both the animal and its owner. Pet parents may experience a range of emotions, including guilt, as they question what they could have done differently to prevent the disappearance.
Armed with years of investigative experience and a deep understanding of animal behavior, real-life pet detective, Angel Nieves, explains how to keep your pets safe and what to do if they become lost.
As a former detective with the New York City Police Department and animal advocate since he was young, finding missing pets seemed like a natural fit for Nieves upon retirement. To date, Nieves has taken on hundreds of cases, many with one similarity – pets go missing due to lack of responsibility of the owner.
“Animals disappear when they are left unattended. Even if you think your backyard is secure, it only takes one second for a pet to wander through an open gate or dig its way under a fence,” Nieves says. “Smaller dogs can be prey to large birds and other animals such as coyotes which is not only a backyard risk, but these animals can also enter through pet doors, so it may be a good idea to seal those up.
“Pet owners also overlook the fact that an unattended pet left in a vehicle or tied to a pole can be stolen in an instant, so never leave your pet alone, not even for a minute,” he adds.
There are several proactive measures that can be taken to minimize these risks. First and foremost, stay with your pet at all times and never leave them unattended, even in your own backyard. Additionally, if you’re leaving your home in a rush or uncommon events are happening inside the home, pets may look to escape or hide.
“Be sure microchips are up to date and ID tags with a current phone number are visible,” says Nieves.
Additionally, remain cautious when interacting with strangers and avoid sharing excessive information about pets on social media platforms; this will help prevent potential thieves from targeting pets.
In the event you believe your pet is missing, Nieves says step one is to backtrack.
“Think of the events that took place earlier that day, then check hiding places in your home such as under the bed or behind the couch,” he says. “Review security cameras and Ring doorbell footage. Check with your family to see if anyone has seen the pet or even has the pet in their possession.
“If you still can’t locate them, call 311 or 911 to make a report, then consider contacting a professional pet detective,” he adds.
For more tips and lessons on pet loss prevention, watch Nieves as he goes live every Friday night on Your Pet Detective YouTube Channel: youtube.com/@yurpetdetective/streams. Also check out his website at yourpetdetective.com.