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My Pet is Missing: Part 2

Picking up where we left off in last week's blog post...

Your pet's been missing for over a day now and you're beginning to lose hope of ever seeing her again. But hang on a moment and try not to fret too much (we know that's really hard to do) because there's still more to be done. If you think she's ventured beyond the confines of your community and it feels a bit like you've exhausted your search efforts there, you now must widen your search net (that is if you haven't done so already). With her microchip number in hand (she is microchipped, right?) contact the Dubai Municipality Veterinary Section to see if they have any pet matching her description or with her microchip number (or municipality tag number if she had on a collar). And if after speaking with someone there you have ANY inkling of a doubt that there's the slightest chance your pet might be there, it's worth the effort to take a drive to see what pets they currently hold as strays.

Next, you should also contact your vet's office and any other vet offices that might be in close proximity to your home (some kind person may have taken your pet there or any other vet office for that matter). You see even if your pet is microchipped, unless her information and YOUR contact information are on file at the exact vet clinic where she is scanned for the presence of a chip, there's a chance the only information they'll find is the chip number (the vets in the UAE do not share microchip information in a central database, so it's really important that you contact many vets, not just yours). Ideally, the resulting microchip number can be cross-referenced with client records (if she's a patient at the clinic where she's being scanned) or with the Dubai Municipality Veterinary Section's vaccination records. We say "ideally" because it's not a perfect system and things can easily slip through the cracks.

At some point during this ordeal, you'll need to make a "missing dog/cat" flyer that includes a recent picture, a note of any special physical markings (stubby tail, black circle patch over eye, three-legs… you get the idea), the microchip number, and your contact information. Then you can easily email this to anyone and everyone willing to share and post the notice. Also, the Internet is full of resources: online expat forums, free local classified websites, local rescue groups' social media pages and community forums and websites. On those sites, you can post your missing pet's information and ask that others share her information; the online community can be pretty powerful when it comes to locating missing pets, and very often such postings go "viral", as they say.

Lastly, there are stories of pets being stolen, then after several weeks being bought again by their own owners at the animal souk in Sharjah - in other words, the owners went looking far and wide and actually found their pet in the animal souk. As frustrating (infuriating!) as this will be, you'll need to consider this possibility, especially if yours is a pure breed cat or dog. Not a pleasant thought but a potential reality.

In the end, it's not a bad idea to call again, a few more times over the course of the next several days, the places you've already contacted; information can change daily and you just never know who's keeping the thought of your lost pet at the top of their mind. It's an experience no pet owner wants to go ever through but know that with a lot of effort, your pet just might (hopefully) be found.

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