Cats come back so frequently there’s even a song about it. But the outlook can be less than optimistic when a dog goes missing.
Hope can dwindle as the days turn into weeks, and the weeks melt into months.
After nearly two years, Brampton resident Miriam Coronel considered the prospect of a reunion with her lost dog, Timmy, slim at best. The male Shih Tzu slipped out of the family house on September 26, 2015 and hadn’t been seen since.
“It was very sad,” she said. “Especially for my kids, they missed him a lot.”
Coronel says her son began posting flyers around the neighbourhood and knocking on doors. Sympathetic neighbour Patricia Conte helped them post photos of Timmy on social media, including a website dedicated to finding lost pets.
The dream of a reunion, once far-fetched, became a reality over the weekend when Timmy was returned home after 556 days.
Earlier this month, the dog ended up at the Caledon Animal Shelter, and on the weekend he was back joyfully lapping at their faces.
Timmy was dropped off at the shelter anonymously. He had I.D. ear markings, but they weren’t legible to staff. He also wasn’t micro-chipped, so tracking down Coronel would prove challenging.
That’s where the family’s online diligence paid off. Staff at the animal shelter were able to match the dog to a posting Conte placed for them on the website helpinglostpets.com.
The reunion was understandably emotional after such a long time apart.
“He saw his family and RAN to us and jumped and licked us like crazy,” Coronel posted on Facebook. “It was very emotional.”
She also had a message to other pet owners living through the nightmare of a lost animal.
“To anyone who has lost their pet don’t give up,” she said. “Be positive and make sure you keep calling and checking with animal shelters.”
What to do if you’ve lost your pet (Caledon Animal Shelter/helpinglostpets.com)
1: File a lost dog/cat report with the local shelter and the shelters/humane societies of nearby communities
2: Check with your neighbours and bring them flyers that have a recent picture of the pet and your contact information
3: Post flyers in the neighbourhood with pictures of pet and your contact information
4: Post on Kijiji and Craigslist under “lost” and make social media postings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Encourage your friends and family to share.
5: Register your pet with pictures on http://www.helpinglostpets.com/v2/OrgPet.aspx?oid=1161. It’s free. Check back regularly to see if he/she has been spotted.
6: Leave out a blanket or favourite toy from where they were last seen. Chances are a dog will return to where you last saw them – check back frequently.
7: Don’t give up hope. Remember, it took Timmy 556 days to find his way home.