Missing Pet Partnership
PO Box 3085
Federal Way, WA 98063
Missing Pet Partnership is working to launch lost pet recovery services for people who have lost a dog or cat in the Seattle area. MPP is non-profit and works with a group of volunteers. MPP provides consultations, physical searches, and rental equipment. All information on this page is copyrighted by Kat Albrecht and Missing Pet Partnership. For more information on pet recovery services please visit:
Recovery Tips – Displaced Cat Behavior
© 2007 Missing Pet Partnership. All rights reserved.
In general, any cat that is transplanted into an unfamiliar territory is a DISPLACED CAT. The majority of these cases involve indoor-only cats that accidentally escape outdoors. However, outdoor-access cats become displaced when they escape from their carrier while at the vet’s office, escape from an RV while traveling on vacation, or escape from a vehicle during a car accident. We’ve even discovered that some outdoor-access cats can become displaced when they are chased from their territory, ending up hiding ten houses down in a neighbor’s yard, yet too disoriented and afraid to come home! In these circumstances, even though the cat is technically an “outdoor-access cat,” it is a DISPLACED CAT and you should use the advice found on this page.
When an indoor-only cat escapes outside (or when any cat is displaced into an unfamiliar area), the cat is likely hiding (usually near the escape point) in fear. That is because cats are territorial and your cat’s territory was inside of your home. Once a cat is transplanted into unfamiliar territory, it seeks shelter because it is afraid. Cats that are afraid (and cats that are injured) will seek areas of concealment such as under a deck, under a house, under a porch, or in heavy brush and they will not meow! Meowing would give up their location to a predator. Their behavior has nothing to do with whether the cat loves you, whether it recognizes your voice, or whether it can smell you–it has everything to do with the fact that a frightened cat will hide in silence!
Recovery Tips – Posters 5+5+55
© 2007 Missing Pet Partnership. All rights reserved.
Missing Pet Partnership has discovered a creative and highly effective tool for recovering lost pets with a method that we call the “FIVE + FIVE + FIFTY-FIVE RULE.” Here’s how it works. At any typical intersection, you only have five seconds and five words to get your message across to drivers who are passing through the area where your pet is missing. We have had success in recovering lost pets several weeks after they disappeared by helping people create posters using the following rules:
- Make them GIANT so that people driving by cannot miss them.
- Make them FLUORESCENT so that the color attracts the attention of everyone.
- Put them at major intersections near where you lost your pet (and in areas of sightings).
- Keep them BRIEF and to the point.
- Let them convey a VISUAL IMAGE of what you have lost.
Most pet owners post lost pet FLYERS that are 8 1/2″ X 11″ white pieces of paper and the only message conveyed is REWARD LOST DOG or REWARD LOST CAT. These are too small and very few people passing by even notice these. Even if drivers did manage to see the words “LOST DOG” very few will pull over to read the description of the lost pet. If instead you create a highly visible poster that conveys the message “REWARD LOST DOG–YELLOW LAB” or “REWARD LOST CAT–SIAMESE” or “REWARD LOST DOG–TAN TERRIER RED COLLAR” that every person driving by could quickly read, you will increase your probability of developing leads that will help you find your pet!
Follow these steps for making effective Lost Pet Posters and Flyers
In addition to posting FLYERS (8 1/2″ X 11″ sheets of paper), you will also want to make highly visible giant, fluorescent POSTERS that have your lost pet FLYERS attached to them. Fluorescent posters are highly visible, effective, and harder for people to tear down. They have proven to be highly successful in the recovery of lost pets, especially lost dogs. Your goal with these poster boards is to make them very big, very noticeable, and very brief.
Items Needed: At least 10 giant (28″ X 22″) fluorescent orange poster boards; 2 large black permanent markers (do not buy water soluble markers); 10 sheet protectors; duct tape; and 10 flyers with color photo of your lost pet.
Creating the Posters: Use giant (28″ X 22″) fluorescent orange poster board available at most office supply stores. The size and fluorescent color will attract the eye of everyone who drives by. This is your goal! You will hang this vertically (not horizontally). At the very top, in 5-inch black letters, print the word REWARD. At the very bottom, in 5-inch black letters, print the words LOST DOG (or CAT or PARROT). In the center of the poster, use clear packing tape to secure a plastic sheet protector. This is where you will slip in your FLYER and then seal the top portion with more tape to protect it from weather.
Creating Flyers For Your Posters: Next, you’ll need to create ten special flyers to display in the center of your fluorescent posters. You’ll want to use a very brief description of your pet at both the top and bottom of these ten flyers. Use the largest font that you can – such as size 80 or 90 in Arial or Verdana font. Your fluorescent poster will already announce “REWARD LOST DOG” or “REWARD LOST CAT” (see photos above) so you DO NOT need to write the words “lost dog” or “lost cat” again on these flyers (at least not in giant letters). Instead, in smaller font (size 18 to 20) write just a few sentences describing your pet, where it was lost, and phone numbers where you can be reached. In the center of the flyer paste a color photograph of your pet. When you are finished, the biggest words on the white flyers should be the color and breed of your pet (e.g.. RED DOBERMAN or GREY & SILVER SILKY TERRIER or “GREY TABBY BLUE COLLAR”). If your poster combined with the flyer can convey in five words or less the message “REWARD LOST DOG–GREY & SILVER SILKY TERRIER” or “REWARD LOST CAT–GREY TABBY BLUE COLLAR” then every passerby will be able to VISUALIZE your lost pet and they’ll be a potential witness who may be able to lead you to your missing pet. We call this the “Five words, five seconds rule.” That’s because you will only have five seconds and five words to get your message across to drivers who are passing through the area.
For more details on posting flyers visit www.missingpetpartnerhsip.org