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Forum Introduction

Introduction from Kat Albrecht: Bunky, a skittish indoor-only cat, pushed out a window screen and escaped outside. Bunky's owner posted hundreds of flyers, checked the local shelter every day for three weeks, placed ads in the local classified sections, talked to all of their neighbors (and asked them to call if they saw Bunky), and even hired an animal communicator. Tragically, Bunky was never recovered by his family because the methods they used are not the primary methods that should be used to recover a missing cat like Bunky! Sadly, Bunky could have been recovered if his family had known that a baited humane trap could be used to recover a displaced, panicked cat.

Why would humane traps be better than posting a hundred LOST CAT flyers? Because displaced, panicked cats like Bunky will almost always look for the first place that will offer concealment and protection and they will remain silent. The instinctive response of any panicked, injured, or sick cat is to HIDE IN SILENCE -- a behavior called "The Silence Factor" that kills thousands of cats every year. No amount of posting flyers would help find Bunky because no one in the neighborhood would ever see him! That's because Bunky would be concealed and would only dart out of his hiding place to grab food and water. If neighbors ever caught a glimpse of Bunky, they would likely assume, based on his xenophobic behavior, that he was an untamed, feral cat.

This week, we'll talk about the differences between the proper methods of searching for a lost dog vs. a lost outdoor-access cat vs. a displaced indoor-only cat that has escaped outdoors. We will discuss the emerging field of lost pet services known as "Missing Animal Response" (MAR) and how lost pet services can reduce the homeless pet population. We will take a "macro-view" of the lost pet problem as I show you a comparative analysis between how we search for lost people vs. how we fail to search for lost pets. Most importantly, we will discuss the human and animal behaviors that prevent lost dogs and cats from being reunited with their families. What you learn during this week promises to be both enlightening as well as disturbing.