After New Years Eve, tips for pet owners who may have missing pets

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The Oahu Society for the Cruelty of Animals say they get the most calls for lost animals the day after New Years Eve and the Fourth of July.

Kahaluu resident Jordan Victorino has spent the last few days looking for his missing cat Simba.

He went to the Hawaiian Humane Society, hoping his orange tabby cat was there.

“He was gone before New Years, but I guess a combination of the weather and fireworks played a part,” said Jordan Victorino.

“The window screen kind of blew off our house. So, there’s an open access to the outside world, and then a lot of our neighbors have been kind of blowing bombs into the air,” said Victorino.

Oahu SPCA adoption coordinator Rachel Zinkus says the first thing you should do is file a lost animal report.

“That is done through the Hawaiian Humane society. They do have the largest database on the island, and that’s protocol for any vet or shelter, is to file through them,” said Zinkus.

She also recommends getting the message out through social media and hanging up fliers. 

For those who have recently lost a pet, she says to try putting out an item of theirs.

“With cats, a great way to get them to come home, and with dogs as well, is putting some of their items outside,” said Zinkus. “So with cats, leaving a litter box outside is a great way to attract them back. With dogs, you’d like to have their bedding, something that smells like them or smells like you, or smells like home.”

But she says that the best way to ensure a pet’s safe return is to take precautions beforehand like getting a pet microchipped.

“When an animal is brought in, any vet or shelter, they’re scanned or that microchip, and on it is all of the owner’s information so that they can be contacted,” said Zinkus.

She says shelters can also keep animals with microchips for nine days compared to 48 hours for animals without a microchip.

Finally, she says if your pet is prone to being anxious during fireworks days, to contact a veterinarian.

“You can talk to your regular vet and see if maybe some anxiety medication may help them during high stress times during the holidays, maybe New Years and the Fourth of July, when you know there’s going to be a lot of commotion,” said Zinkus.

To file a missing pet report, you can visit the Hawaiian Humane Society’s website here.

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