With some notes on the accuracy, "reality", validity and so on of your pet's data
This is a wildly touchy subject, for obvious reason.
 There's a lot to say but I'm trying to keep it succinct as possible.
The bottom line is I'm no longer accepting new Lost/Missing pet cases, but since it's such a hot subject, I am keeping this page with a lot of the information relating to how this type of communication goes, in hopes that the info is of some use to you.

Tips and Resources
Preventive Measures

Many people contact a Pet Communicator in hopes of assistance in recovery of a lost or missing pet.
This is an understandable hope.
Most often you will find that the Communicator or Psychic will not take this type of case on, or will have Something To Say about it if they do.
As of January 2006, I stopped taking these cases on. I basically don't want to do it an longer, and am not. Most Communicators don't, either. For quite some time I couldn't figure out why Communicator after Communicator started to turn away these cases while I persisted on. I kept hearing this from clients - No one will take on my lost pet! I figured communication's communication; from our standpoint, we're doing the same thing. And it can't just be "It's too emotional"....heck, all communicators sooner or later deal in upsetting issues. I myself I specialize in passing over and passed over pets, so what was the real problem or situation with Lost/Missing Animals? Why did I always want to turn away every single missing pet/lost pet inquiry??? Cringe when I saw an email about it?
I somehow guiltily persisted on, taking case after case, all the while feeling like I was kinda "going nuts" with it....but it wasn't until I sorted out for myelf precisely what the problem and situation is, at least for me, that I became able to voice it and ironically to now feel that I can cleanly and ethically stop taking those cases on. Me. That's me. Someone else may not share the same viewpoint, and that's fine. This is just a statement of where I'm at on this subect.
I can't speak for other Communicators but I can speak for me, and perhaps in doing so am clarifying what some of them have not been able to fully or properly voice.
I'm not a quitter, nor do I feel you should be. Again, I can't speak for other Communicators, but the reason I am no longer doing Lost / Missing pets has nothing to do with my ability to get and relay an animal's communication, which is my functional purpose as a Communicator.
Regarding my Purpose as a Communicator
I have the ability to get their comm. I'm pretty darned good at translating the concepts into regular English wording to pass along to you, and your ideas into concept form for them. We talk back and forth, similar to a three-way phone call.
This is what one wants, expects, requests, is interested in experiencing, with a Communicator. At least, this is the unique way that I do it. I'm unsure what others do. Anyway, some want more, such as for me to "know" something about their pet (Do you know their birthday? Do you know their breed? Do you know how long they're going to live?) Folks learn soon enough that I get what the animal tells me, and perhaps the animal knows all these things, and perhaps not.
If you're new at this, just know that these things will make more sense to you as we roll along, but basically that's the long and short of it.
It always seems a logical jump that this ability could assist one in getting their pet back if the pet ran off, got out, got lost, etc. This is however not necessarily the case.
See, they're beings just like us but are touchier, less analytical, more stimulus-response and reactive. They entertain the mental capacity of, say, a 5 year old child. And when they're missing, or lost, or both, they get very instinct driven, reactive and illogical, and when their thoughts turn to us, the humans, it's no longer the same thing. They're no longer in their comfort zone. Things are dangerous. Humans are dangerous. Motion is dangerous, or is suspect, at best. Smells, sights, sounds, distances, outside/inside concepts, forms, shapes, thoughts, thought patterns, adrenlin and other bodily functions, thirst, hunger, elimination, fight instincts, flight instincts ... all are affected. Fifi is NO LONGER THE CAT YOU KNEW THIS MORNING when you last saw her. Rover is NO LONGER YOUR BEST FRIEND. They're spooked, on the run, guilty, angry, elated and gleeful, terrorized, supersititious, light-headed....the list goes on. They could care less that Aunt Julie interjects a thought to them about how Daddy Misses Feeding You Your Special Tuna Out Of The Can So Could You Please Come Home (the net result of that is often to make them salivate and feel even more frantic).
Again, I can still deliver comm to them and relay it back from them. But the comm gets more and more irrational from them, more "suspect", more delusory, and you, the pet owner, spend more and more time (and money) becoming more and more frustrated, uncertain more times than certain, and no closer to recovering your pet.
YES sometimes the pet comes back, and in a percentage of the cases, yes, it's because of something I did or said, whether this connection is made or not (and most of the time I'd prefer it not be).
But it drives me near batty to constantly deliver insane communication! Rough words!! So let me spell things out.
You ask, Is he inside or outside? He's not sure. He has the idea that he's inside, and also, he can see outside. He senses that it's cold outside. Well, he thinks so, anyway..
He thinks he sees a house. That lasts 2 seconds. Ever go driving and happen to glance, well, anywhere? Do you recall everything about it as you zip by? Pretend you're a cat running about frantically. Do you "see" a house on your left when someone sends you the idea of how you need to stop, look,focus, digest and pass along what's perceived? They might get the impression, the idea, that it's probably a condo as it seems like there are a few which seem to be connected somehow. I make the (sigh) mistake of passing this along (which helps you narrow down the neighborhoods to try) because I'm trying to help you get your cat back. This starts countless questions and ongoing dialogue over days - emails - photots (which I ask for so I can have SOME idea of what we talking about) regarding architecture, paint colors, what structures were used in which neighborhoods, etc, and how "real" this is to your particular dog or cat during whichever talk we're having. Meanwhile kitty's travelled roughly 6 miles away or is hidden in a patch of foliage and has no idea what place we're getting back to him about after checking Mapquest and so on. No, he can't recall how he got where he is or which side of the golf course the little pond thing was on when he last mentioned it.
Over time, the cat or dog doesn't know if they're alive or dead or feel good or feel bad. Sometimes if they are, they never put it together.  They recall snarling canine faces (coyotes???? who knows?) because 1. they were killled by some or 2. someone thought about coyotes getting to their pet, and they picked up on it, or 3. some coyote(s) killed some animal(s) somewhere around there sometime, and they're picking up on that, and it stuck with them.
Or they weren't, but your vivid imagination transmits over to them as though it had happened. That, and the animal smells which surround them, makes it seem very real. You contact them, they go YES! COYOTES!! OWIE!! and you think this has happened.
And perhaps it has.
You see what I mean??
Talk to a kid who's in the middle of being terrorized by a real or imagined scary being in his room at night (yup, I said real or imagined). Ask him what's occurring, and he'll tell you Mister Killer Man With The Blue Shirt is right there in his room right now. Now, you can walk in there and see that it's not so (or that there's no physical form there!). But you can't with a missing pet who's sure they must be dead.
Multiply that by ?? how many conversations? and the animal's frustrated and you're confused and frustrated.
This is not my purpose as a Communicator, to pass along illogical comm to someone who needs the comm to be logical.
How it (almost) always goes with a lost or missing pet
Virtually every single time is I will get the owner and missing pet into in comm, and this is always beautiful, fulfilling and poignant, but from that point on  it's (most often) a no-win, grueling and ongoing exercise in emotional upheavals for the pet and owner.
Once connected, the love abounds. The relief washes over them. Then...the pain begins deeper.
Again, I can confront trauma. It's not about that. It's about ongoing upsetting fruitless comm.
Now that the owner "knows" where Princess is, it's assumed that she's now going to magically appear at home. These are two distinctly different things, so this is where it gets tricky.  The shock and delight of the live communication (this is your lost pet you are talking with, not your brother overseas) can make the absence more intolerable (this is, your lost pet, not your brother overseas who can just book a flight).
True, the pet is focused when we talk - remember I can connect with "dead" animals! so that's easy - so therefore, as them, our pet in their physical form, they're now somehow supposed to also have the same skill as a cab driver, ship's captain or airline pilot when it comes to navigating. Or the owner assumes that the pet is 3 blocks away and knows how to get home. 10 miles away - ditto. 50 miles away, they turn into Lassie.  
If you were blindfolded and plunked down somewhere 50 miles away and did not have a map, could not read nor could you talk with anyone, and were frightened, scared, hungry and about, oh, I'd say 6 years old, would you "know" how to get home?
I invariably find Lost Pets frustrating for me and the owner as I simply cannot "be with your dog" the entire time we are on the phone, for example, having them report to me every single thing they see as they dart about. It doesn't work that way. They get overwhelmed by this - EVERY TIME and so it bombs. They get very upset and shut down and won't talk and have to be coaxed over and over to even stay connected with me and the owner.  They can't stand the constant grilling, and the owner gets upset and can't understand why not? If Princess truly wants to come home, can't she see that this will help!? etc.  Please resist the logical and quite understandable temptation to try and get me to "look through their eyes" (I can't do that any more than you can see through, say, your neighbor's eyeballs), have them focus on a street sign or house numbers, tell you/me every thing they see as they dart about throught the streets, and so on.
Something I said another place on this site as well:
You'd be surprised how many of them can't just answer the question What's your name? Like, if I went to a Humane Society and someone brought out the stray they'd just found who had a collar (with no name tag) and was obviously someone's dog etc, if I asked them their name or owner's name or did they live in a house with any kids or cats or blah blah, chances are excellent there'd be No answer, Wrong answers, Altered answers, Overwhelm, and so on. They simply aren't hardwired to "answer questions" and have spent their entire lifetime doing just that: being not responsible for, not accountable for, conversing.
I am not interested in being a go-between passing along delusory communication which is cute when it's a household pet'; compare this concept which can be EQUALLY REAL TO YOUR PET whether at home or in the woods for three weeks now:  "Whee! I'm Jungle Kitty and there are predators everywhere!".
You think you can handle this just fine but I do hour after hour after hour after hour after hour when it's a very persistent pet owner, and the less persistent ones are ripped with guilt (or could-have-been's if it's a financial situation) when they "give up", which is almost always how they feel about it. It's positively torturous.
I tried changing my policy to "Ok, I'll do ONE Initial Consult, only", understood what things were like and we gave it one shot. A slew of subsequent emails followed, and the next day a request to check in with her pet again, as though we had never covered the territory I'm writing about here. We had. Extensively. We gave it a good shot, with her cat, and got some clues, but then there was this one thing that could be checked out, one more other thing....
They don't all make it. There are many instances of the ones who did not, the ones who got killed, the ones who simply disappeared off into wherever and that was that.
Out of the successes I have had (that I myself attribute to my work as a Communicator, regardless of whether the pet owner noticed or made that connection), the times the owners did realize I had something to do with actually discontinued doing it as I can no longer keep delivering the same nature of communication over and over with little or no "result". I know I can communicate just fine with animals. That isn't the point with this type of situation.  NO matter WHAT the pet owner says, the bottom line is...is their cat/dog back yet? Yes or no. It's not about me or my "competency" - that's not an issue. I could care less if someone "believes" I can communicate with animals. I only care that I'm traffiking in very upsetting communication which does not also ultimately lead to any relief or resolution, and I'm not into doing that.  I don't do it to "find your pet". I've always been very upfront about all of that, and folks appreciate that. What I do is help you communicate with your pet - but my purpose as a Communicator is to do just that: to help you communicate with your pet, and vice versa. IF their comm to you is not of value in getting them back home, and if that's a major bottom line, we're done. The comm gets stickier and stickier, more "forced", more upsetting, they shut down more and more (also comes from each day's passing where they're 1. no longer living with humans or 2. no longer living with you)
Since I can and have helped many with this horrible situation, however, I did take many on. These are Testimonials from some of the successes, but the percentage of times of actual recovery of your pet is so low that I am discontinuing doing missing/lost pet Consults after Jan 1, 2006 (except for existing clientele). This does NOT mean I "cannot communicate" with them. This DOES mean that this is not my primary purpose as an animal Communicator and 98 or 99 times out of 100 ends in the pet owner just as upset as before (and ever more frustrated, ironically enough), the animal just as lost and with dashed child-like hopes over and over of "Mommy and Daddy liked the clues today so maybe they're going to walk right up to me and rescue me! But of course YES, I'll run away!" ... they're confused, hungry, tired, sick, tick- or flea-infested, delirious, feverish, gleeful, having the time of their lives, and most often, almost completely delusory, in our estimation. They need to focus on staying alive, and the human's ideas about how to do this "make sense" but do not well-translate to them.

There are no absolutes here, but what I've found is:
Despite what you think or have been told or have read, animals don't necessarily actually "get", or generally benefit from hearing, that:
Humans with uniforms on are helpers/good guys/a way home/safe
Stay near house/apartment/residence/store front/restaurant/strip mall/library
Stay away from car/road/street/railroad/wherever you hear car sounds/snakes/coyotes/predators/bad water
Find veterinarian/animal hospital by smell

...because they already know or do this instinctively, or aren't capable of grasping it in the first place or they would have figured it out, or it'll burden them with a responsibility that they simply canNOT handle ("watching for a nice policeman!"  or differentiating a "uniform" - who's a cop and who's a Burger King employee?)

Nor do they necessarily....
...know where they are
...have an innate "north", "south", etc.
...know if they have a collar on
... know if they have a "new name"- your concept in contacting them IS them and they just are, well, THEM (re: you as owner)
...know if they are dead or alive, in a physical sense
...know if they got physically picked up and then transported by car to get where they are now (it sometimes all kind of blurs as part of some general memory re: car transport)
...know if they're in a house, apartment, townhouse, garage, condo, under a garage, if they now "live" there or are just by it or were in there for 15 seconds last week because it's as vacant something-or-other or just looked in a window and thought about being inside
...know if they smelled dogs, coyotes, possums, cows, horses, snakes, cats, racoons, BBQ food, the shoe repair shop right around the corner from your home, McDonalds, home cooked meals, ladies' perfumes, cigarettes, diesel fuel, car oil, medicinal smells, cemeteries, etc.
If I asked you what you smelled, saw, etc 17-1/2 days ago while frantically rushing about hungry scared etc in some new environ at, oh, 3:36 p.m., would you remember? The fact that it was a "landmark" for someone trying to find you doesn't now matter - it didn't occur to you to Make A Mental Note. If you could. With them it's zipzipzipzip.

Generally speaking.......
....it doesn't work the way you think/hope it does.
It doesn't matter.
They don't care.
It confuses them.
And sometimes, to them, they're not "lost" / they're not interested in how wonderful it is to "live inside"
...and this is NOT me being "negative". If I were a negative person, I wouldn't be able to be as good as I am at what I do, I would not care about the missing/lost pets, I would not be able to specialize in passing over/passed over pets, I would not be "safe" for animal beings to talk with, I would not be the stabilizing influence that I can be for many.....there simply are things in this world which are not pleasant and these things need to be confronted as being that way. YES you should keep putting out that your pet will be back with you, come back to you, cosmically get there, arrive somehow - no matter how - just it will All Be Okay. There's nothing wrong with this and in fact, could very well be the reason some animal DO get back to you, even when it's some "coincidence" or synchronistic event that re-unites you.
Lost is lost. Ever been lost? It's just like that.
THE ABOVE IS THE NORM, THE USUAL. THERE ARE ARE ARE EXCEPTIONS! and have been with ME, with OTHER Communicators, Psychics and the like, perhaps with a friend of yours even. But this IS the usual in my experience. Even folks who write Testimonials I've seen on my and others' sites, and other Communicators, Psychics etc who tout the beauty and fulfillment of keeping in comm with their beloved, while the pet's away - and I used to offer this as a sort of "Nanny" service, keeping the pet calm and reminded of you and so on - really, I did! for years! And I charged for it as a Communicator! and I really DID pass along thier comm but guess what? The few who wrote up, and / or the few who even put together that their pet's return had anything to do with me, were F A R  O U T N U M B E R E D by those who after hours, weeks or months of the same drill, variations on a theme, tapered off and kind of just... stopped contacting me .. which I knew was coming.
I don't traffik in wrenchingness. If it's a wrenching subject (Passing over. Passed Over.) that's a certain, identifiable, fulfillable, contextual circumstance. There IS a difference.
Wth regards to my passing along that which I've done countless times - the list above and variations of same - Rover is for whatever reason, a DOG. Princess is a CAT. They're spritutal beings but are also functionally being animals, and are as such, very stimulus-response, reactive, instinct-driven and illogical by our standards or expectations....certainly with regard to the type of thought processing capacity and follow-through that one would generally need to, well, "get back home" to their humans.
If they also do not have a natural "north", sense of direction, this type of thing, are in some other city, are cold or tired or hungry or scared or needing their antibiotic or their blankie, they have this extra stress and cannot process or evaluate or retain data sometimes past 2-3 seconds.
Humans always overlook the cold, hard fact that as an animal, instinct and reactive behavior while out "there" is or can be seen to or thoughts or computed by them to be corrected, workable and needed for survival.
SOME things do help. YES, they can smell your urine or their fellow house kitty's urine or the other dog's urine etc so YES do schprtiz it around the place (lawn, grounds, perimeter, etc.) and/or sprinkle their used kitty litter around, your stinky clothes, etc. It CAN NOT hurt. Just remember to think in terms of base level What They'll Identify With as something to smell; urine's a no-miss. It does NOT mean that they will be walking around confused, catch a whiff of it and realize "Wow! That means that the house I usually reside in is 478 feet to the left! I Must Go There Now!" If there is something instinctive about all of that, the chances do exist and in many (yes, I said MANY) cases, are good! Just - don't count on it, as a pet owner.
And don't expect that because during our Consulation with them we tell them about the pee and who's it'll be and what the significance is, that if they stumble by close enough and/or downwind to smell it, that they will retain the logical thought process they had while we had comm with them, the being. Chances are excellent that this, like any or all other factoids, will be lost in the shuffle of "alarming: input, thought processes, and reactivity.
We discuss things with them BUT five minutes later they seemingly "can't follow through: with whatever it was. It happened over and over and over again, for some years. I finally got the lesson learned (and still did it, then one day enough was enough).

AGAIN, just watch a cat sometimes. Or a dog who's in the middle of some distracting, new environment with new smells, barking dogs, blaring music - whatever (that is, it'd  be something "safe" or  you probably wouldn't be witnessing it for this "example". Past that, you have to use your imagination.

Ever seen a loose cat or dog on the streets?

 Get how things are for them mentally as this is what you're up against when your pet's lost or missing.

The changing, scary environ's too much of a distraction for them to have coherent, cohesive, "valuable" (as in Getting Them Back) thought processes, as a general rule.

You can check out the info (below) from a Fresh Step site's article on lost cats - there's a paragraph with some stats for recovery of lost kitties. Then come back to this section.
Look, there's no way to say this diplomatically, but here's what: you have to know going in that your pet may never be returned to you once gone. It just may not happen. I can get you as much information as possible from the pet, but there are no guarantees.
This has nothing to do with the fact that you should put out, create, decide, that you and your pet will be reunited. He will make it home. It's fine to be "positive". What I'm referring to is realism, as it applies to how one proceeds, one's naivete, one's planning, one's production of tools to better enable another to get your pet to you (e.g. posters), etc.
The main successes I've had with this are when the animal's been gone for about, oh, 15 minutes!
Here's a real bottom line write-up:
To get back to you (on their own), your gone-dog or cat has to be desirous of and willing to return, able to return, and capable of returning.
They have to want to - and this can include covering:
- Our stripping off any possible upsets they may be sitting in, making it safe enough for them to voice same, and not assuming that they're not necessarily upset about what you think they're upset about, etc. Or they have assigned it some other significance (you and hubby have a fight. Your pet accidentally gets out, but once out, doesn't feel too much like comin' home. When asked, they think back and when the "fight" comes up, they change their entire recollection of things to some odd string of incidents such as: you threw a pot holder at the dog and then jumped up and down laughing at the goldfish in his bowl, all the while singing the Happy Birthday song. Kitty's now upset, pout, sulk, that you were mean to the goldfish. Who knows. If that's what they say, and we can handle Kitty's upset about your "being mean to the goldfish by laughing at it", Kitty just might show up on your doorstep about 15 minutes later Surprise!)
- They consider that your home is, well, their home. They like the idea of "living inside" (example, rescued cats who used to live outdoors adapt to living indoors and then if they even accidentally get outside and roam around, can revert easily into the mindset that this is more a natural setting for them. (They happen to be right, from their point of view.)
- Yes, they love you. This isn't always enough to get them back. They can love you and still be King of the Jungle.
They have to be desirous of returning
- Yeah, it's a nice idea - sounds great! I love my chew toy! Do I care enough to wander back and overcome my fears of the whatever (and so on). Do I want to come back, or is it just by now a fond memory?
Sometimes they're lazy-bones, complacent, "contented kitty", etc. I recall one who was living in someone's house and Mommy finally tracked him down and when she walked into this guy's bedroom to recover her kitty, kitty looked at her calmly from the bed "Oh, hi Mom" as though nothing had ever happened - and was also quite fine on, and happy to, return home with Mommy. This cat had dutifully reported how well he was doing and this and that and had neatly ommitted the minor detail that he was also living in someone's place. He only kept telling us how his name was NOT X it was Y, type of thing (the person who had found him had of course named him a new name).
Are they able to return?
- This includes hurt, thorn in paw, a bit loopy from being too thirsty for too long, weak from diarrhea or hunger, out-and-out injured or sick, feverish, delusory, etc. Sometimes they are not aware of what kind of "shape" they are in as they're running on auto-pilot, animal adrenalin, extroverted look-look-look outwards mode (as opposed to stopping to reflect on How They Feel) in order to be ever on-alert (survival tactic). Bottom line is - can they physically get back?
And...are they capable of getting back?
- Quite simply, (1) knowing, literally, how to get back, and, (2) having the staying power, attention span and persistence to do so.
Are they lost or are they missing?
There is a difference - missing to you does not mean "lost" to them. Some are lost, some are just out there having a good time while another is just out there being confused about something - one house over!. IF they know how to get back, will they make it more than 25 feet before running up a tree or bolting 75 feet in the other direction? This has to do with them and also has to do with distractions that get interjected (dog bark - low flying bird - honking horn - seeing a glint of light from a truck in the distance - stubbing paw on pebble = ow = perceived "danger" = must run!) etc etc and etc.
Even when they are focused on getting back, or not and we talk with them and get them to be so, please refer to the GPS Drawings for a possible average Best Case Scenario. They wander and dither about, under the best of circumstances.

There is a page devoted to Testimonials regarding Lost and Missing Pets, in case you wish to refer to that. You must take the time to read and understand what's on this very page that you're reading right now, though.
Even if I did an Initial Consult with you and them one time, I wouldn't be able to guarantee that your pet will be returned once I had communicated with them or had them describe their location to me.  The client and I worked together rapidly and diligently to interpret the clues that may have been helpful, but it basically always led to naught. That is, more times than not, "I" was "spot-on", yes, there's a brook to the left of the broken white cement blocks....or Yes, there are 3 neighborhoods, in fact, which have a lot of lattice-work and overgrown lawns...but by the time the client got there, Kitty was lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng gone. Or perhaps had seen these places three days earlier but in their own tortured minds, it was 5 minutes earlier.
The animal is generally upset, confused, disoriented and frightened. Getting through this to try and isolating actual usable - usuable in present time - "data" is rare. It's quite similar to a lost child: I have to calm them and get information, feedback and impressions of where they are, what they see and the like. There's a lot to it and sometimes "I see 4 trees and a pink car" won't necessarily provide the information you need to find your pet in the city...but sometimes it does and I would always pass along anything the animal offered as there are clues which mean nothing to me or to the animal which could however mean something quite significant to you. This would ultimately act as a torturous tease, and quite unitentionally. I hate to create that effect, and it was almost worth it when it would seem over and over that the clues might lead to actual recovery of the pet, but it was so abstract, I couldn't continue to do it.
What's an ocean to a little kitty may in reality be a pond. The salt water smell vs. the fresh water smell presented as a question to that same kitty, pondered and answered, could mean the make-break of locating her. Well, where she is, which can turn into where she was by the time you arrive.
Actual example ~ I was emailing a client regarding her missing dog before she set off that day to hunt for him, and the dog sent me a fleeting image out of the blue, so I wrote it into the email:  "...fleeting image, concept is 'Something I've seen, of a water tower, tank thing, raised reservoir, off to his left a bit far off but not like a miles or so, closer than that....not too much around it (that he noticed), it caught his eye as he wondered mildly what it was, figured it was some 'human thing', and kept rolling along."  The client emailed me back the next morning, "Yesterday he was seen by a water tower in P--.  You are right on. There are trees, and open spaces there as well. I went out this morning at 6.00 to the area and looked all over but no luck."
The points being two-fold: the animal can describe an area to the degree that you may in fact be able to locate it, and, you should also know that by the time you locate it, they're probably gone. I use the word "probably" to be diplomatic.  
Animals will also let us know how they are, what they smell, see, hear, and often what others around them are thinking, which can be invaluable but as you can tell from above, not always right away or sometimes you will simply play "location tag" over and over. It's just the truth and I have to tell you this, going in.
If while missing they can get across words and/or concepts they get from surrounding humans, this can serve of great value in our efforts to determine their odds of safe return to you from kidnappers, mischievous youths, etc. We just do the best we can.
Their time concept can be off, too. I recently had someone contact me, an already existing client, who's cat I had talked to in the past, quite successfully, about, oh, a year ago. She was not aware that I had phased out "lost pets" so I thought I'd give it a try (sigh). Ok. So Butterscotch the cat had taken off a couple of days ago and this time, not come back, so she decided to contact me and see what I could find out. I briefed her on well, pretty much what-all's on this page, but she at least wanted to check and see. Butterscotch answered many questions and described many things. His mental pictures were actually quite vivid and one would think that he had gone in a particular direction, and seen this and that (long story but many descriptions were in there) and so on. He related a couple of things he was upset about, the main one being three beings who were between him and his home. He had vivid descriptions of each, and how he wanted Mommy to handle them. She did what he asked and hunted about for him in the general area she thought he might be in. She then had to go off to work; later she returned and someone had approached her daughter "Are you missing your cat?" etc and turns out Mr. Butterscotch had been with this guy, in his home, the entire time! The owner was like, I guess he lied to me - ? but I knew he had not, per se. He had only passed along direct and literal answers to questions and from, and with, the aspects which were real to him, and which he could comfortably confront. Yes, it was late date - but I guess that was 2 days ago! but this did not compute with Butterscotch. Just - a description of what he'd last "noticed" as being "time of day". The can't always compute in "present time" terms. They just - can't. Not at least with bearings and "visuals" ("What do you see?").They often answer with actual info but it's outdated...you ask if they see a tree, the question itself evokes visuals on "tree"s and they answer in the affirmative and present vivid mental pictures of trees. If you ask this another way, say, What do you see?, they'll answer with "A wall" or "A tree" (etc.). If/when you try to clarify it (is it a stubby tree? White wall or yellow wall? Interior wall or outside broken white brick wall?) (TRYYYYYYYYYYYYING to figure out where the hell your pet is...) the concepts will evoke Times they've seen these exact things (Wow! I know what Mommy's referring to! YES! I see the outside broken white brick wall! - except they "see it" 4 months ago when they last noticed it.....whoops!) or What this might look like (A yellow wall? I know the color "yellow". Okay, yes...mmm...now, there ya go. Look at that, Aunt Julie. There's a "yellow wall". I see a "yellow wall". So owner dashes to the room with the yellow all - no kitty. Or kitty IS there but is well hidden with NO intention of being found cuz he's a HIDDEN KITTY, so owner doubts the data.)
Dead or Alive? 
I must address here that unspoken possibility that your missing pet has been injured, snatched or killed. I work to keep them sufficiently focused despite pain and/or trauma to get a correct assessment of the actual situation. As mentioned elsewhere on this site, sometimes they get confused as to whether they are "dead" or "alive" in our terms, as they are alive in actuality - we're communicating with them, aren't we? Some animals view it only this way and have to be oriented to the concept of death, as they can look at things quite simplistically. So I try to get this sorted out as well.
Sometimes they say they are dead. I have to sort this out. A car whizzing by can frighten them so much that they assume they were under its wheels.
This paragrah is graphic so be warned: Since they do become confused, no one, least alone me, is interested in reports of how they are "dead" when they are not. They suddenly show up at home 2 weeks later - which is great! but I mean I don't want to make that initial false report. This is NOT happened, by the way, but I am as careful as I can be. Part of how I get things sorted out is when I feel it's warranted, I (nicely) demand verification of their death. (You can help with this as well; often owners come up with some great questions!) For example, they'll tell me Yes! I DO smell fresh-mown grass! I guess my nose does work! I guess I DO have a nose still! I'm alive!!
How I generally handle this with the animal-being is I will out of the blue interject a "Prove to me you're dead" and I go by whatever their instant reponse is. It works pretty much every time, and doesn't even offend them - they understand, and are quite forthcoming with their "evidence" and it's also generally quite emotionless for them. They will show me something which any human can relate to including but not limited to an image of their dead body, stiff and lifeless; a moving picture incident of when Animal Control came by to pick up their body; a picture of wild animals gnawing on it; this type of thing. If they send me a mental pic of a yard with a small mound and a cross over it, that would be "suspect". This type of thing is often just a Representative Image / melodrama designed to represent death - I want to see that body going into the ground. I have to. It's YOUR pet and YOUR peace of mind at stake here.
Aunt Julie cannot be responsible for interpreting whether your animal really is "dead" or "alive". I'm not standing there staring down at a body. I can only send what they say and you and I can pick it apart as best we can for accuracy.
And with missing and lost animals, most of the time they don't even know.
And sometimes, the worse the circumstance, the more "off" they can be. There was a Hurricane Katrina victim who had to leave a slew of kitties in the closet in her bedroom with the water level rising about an inch a minute......when we did talk to them, 2 out of 5 thought they were "probably alive", and 3 out of those 5 figured they were dead, and were pretty convincing about it.
Turns out all 5 were alive.
If I tell you to "get a mental picture of a green pug dog", you'll get a mental picture of a green pug. It's obvious that you've created that picture, regardless of which actual mental pictures from your databanks of pugs you accessed and used to create it with. It could or could not be a pug you've seen (in real life or photo), just now colored green.
If I tell you to "get a mental picture of a pug dog", that's different. It's all the same as above but for someone else put in the position of trying to, being under pressure to, being asked to, interpret that as to whether it's an actual pug you've seen, they would have no way of knowing unless you knew, and told them. Think carefully about such things for a sec....imagine an apple. Is it an exact, real apple you've seen? or a Representative Image of generic red apples? so to speak.
Now imagine being 5 years old.
Five years old and lost and traumatized.
And having to be responsible for the accuracy of conveying information which involves apples, pugs, etc.
MY role as a Communicator is to prompt an animal about something (e.g. ask them a question, or read one of yours in an email or hear you say it and when I get the concept, so does Rover or Fluffy - same thing:  question's been posed, or asked) and them get them to convey the concepts and pictures and so on which comprise "the answer". How are you? Do you like dry cat food? Do you know your Human Mommy is going to have a baby? Were you upset by the move? Why do you bark at small dogs? does your left back paw hurt? This is the usual drill.
For lost pets, it's real "open", categorized generally emotionally as Where ARE you I miss you!! I'm so worried about you! (and understandably so). Even when calm at your end, they're not calm at their end as their life is full of challenges, noises, smells, barking, random thoughts, hunger... and they simply cannot transmit "frame by frame" what they are living, as they LIVE it. I mean, they do't do that anyway so don't expect that from a lost or missing pet. (More on this below.)
This includes the ones who are hunkered down or who have been taken in and are being fed or who are in a Shelter.
They still don't operate as analytically as we and their reality and outlook are almost always, always as in Every Single Time, altered. Different now.
Out of body 
The being will be in or out of his body, same as always, same as any of us.
When disembodied (their body's dead), it can be more obvious to them. If they're sick, in shock, had a recent shock or being startled, drugs, medicines, bad food, ailing, dying, feverish, comatose, unconscious or even reverie (light sleep) through to snoozin' away, they can easily drift out. I don't wish to go into a huge thing all about this here and now but as it relates to missing pets and are they dead or alive, this is part of how they can "not know" if they're dead or alive. They can assume they're dead because they're Out. They can assume they're alive because while Out from the body being dead, they're, literally, alive, the being themself. They can live an entire reality while being sick or dying (Movie comparisons? Jacob's Ladder or Sixth Sense.)
Recently (June '06) I had in two days, two dogs pass over while I was on the phone with the owner / in comm with the pet. In one case, the dog was basically dying and at the vet's while all decided what to do. At a particular point, the dog stated the exact time he wished to be euthanized and then this was done. (I know I'm sounding very "detached" about all of this; I just need to make a point here, so...) Anyway, we were still on the phone (and Mommy and Daddy and the vet were right there and all were in comm with him). There was no "specific" occurrence, he continued to comm with us all along - during and after. If I, the Communicator, didn't know any better, I'd never have known anything happened (per se).  The next day I was in comm with a very ill dog and his Mommy. He was still at home and various things were discussed regarding, well, things he wanted to say. We did touch on his ideas about death and euthanasia or not and etc and so on. He said what he had to say, relaxed on the subject and basically all around, as by then we had taken up and covered any- and everything he wanted to say about and to his people, and then he began talking about how much he admired Daddy. During this time, Mommy interrupted what I was passing along to mention that he had just passed. I paused, he paused - he was like...Did something happen? Did it happen? He had no idea, he was happily relating how great Daddy was because of this and that reason and so on.
If I hadn't been told, I would have had no idea. Nor would he, at least not at that exact point in time. His attention was simply on how good he - HE - felt, and what he wanted to say.
Alteration of Incidents
Here's a bit more on this aspect of things.
I did have one instance recently where a dog took off and when I was asked some days later to contact her, she had quite some stories to tell. Then it turned out she had been apparently killed the very night she had left. She had a lot of "adventures" and sensations and so on, traveling through the woods. She had a few things to say about "the highway", how she knew to stay away from trucks but warned us that she wasn't real attentive to cars and was worried she'd get hit by a car. This and that. Anyway, there was a lot more to it than this, but when I found out what had occurred, I got in comm with her and turns out she had no idea she'd even been hit. That is, this was a literal case of She never knew what hit her. It was - Bam, body down, being disembodied, "shakes themself off", and continues to "trot down the roadway" exploring and such. Then Mommy finds Aunt Julie on the net, and the two of us contact the dog. The assumption going in is, well, the dog's lost, so Mommy is cautioning the dog to Be careful, to look for houses and people - all the usual. The dog being agreeable, loyal and obedient in this time of strife, and excited to "hear" Mommy's voice, went right into that mode. Okay! I'll do that! Further, I saw a house yesterday! It looked like (etc.).
Dog had been dead for a week. But she had seen, observed, many things. She just related to herself as this same dog, and it never occurred to her that something had changed, or, if it occurred to her, she quickly squirrled these thoughts away for inspection at some other time.
I recently had 2 incidents of my own at home. I got a new dog walker, a mother and daughter team. Fox hadn't gotten to know them yet and was not yet comfortable with them. It's common that my Mom comes by to visit right around this time, and he loves to report things to her (via me) - Grandma! I was a Good Boy today! Grandma! There was grass outside! Grandma! The dog walker liked a dog she saw!   This type of thing, very simplistic, stripped down reports, basic concepts. Ok. So this one time, it was trauma central and things got altered all over the place.  Here's what:
Fox himself was telling Mom and me that he literally fell into the lake (across the street in the golf course right by a little street) while outside with the dog walkers, with intense descriptions of the temperature and murkiness of the water, and one of the turtles in there. (There are turtles and gators in there.) Now, this was preceded by a traumatic incident where his harness somehow slipped off while outside with the new dog walkers and as soon as he realized he was "free", all he could think about was gettin' home to Mommy (me) and there were cars, and the dog walkers were calling him, all alarmed, and there was chasing and blocking him at both ends and and and and this and that and by the time they nabbed him and got him home, he was all electrified and kind of messed up, and then couldn't tell Mommy about it because they were understandably immediately clamoring on, and then we had to discuss how the harness could have come off, and so on.
Now, note here that part of their voiced concern was that they should from then on skip walking him by the lake as there are gators there. He's used to being walked near there but not close by, but if he were to get away again, who knows if he'd run blindly over there? I know him and he's very aware of the life forms inside the lake although they're not real "real" to him, and true to child-like form, the danger's not real to him, either. That is, I've personally observed that he's seen them, he's picked up on them, and/or noticed them, at various times over the years. Including when they're submerged and well hidden". So this was all in his "databanks" already, you might say.
Anywho, everyone got calmed down; they left; and Mom came by. I asked Fox if he wanted to talk to us about what occurred. So here's what it turned into.in just that little bit of time. He pressed his back against me, and faced her and it was like "Grammmmmma.......!!! I fell into the lake today! It was murky and (cold temperature sent to me to "feel") and (mental pic of some scary elongated looking turtle)...." Mom knows how trauma and other people's ideas and thoughts can and do influence beings, so when one of the bay-bees has something to tell her, I relate and she acknowledges. She never invalidates their communicaiton. So she was like, Oh, wow. Huh. Yes, I'll bet that was scary. He had this Grammmmma! look in his eyes, then when she let him know She Got It, he was all satisfied and went off to find his treat in the other room - over and out.
Example number one. So here's example number two, same day, Danny, the kitty, proceeded to tell Mom about how earlier that day one of them (dog walkers) held him while the other one bonked him over the head. He said he had then run into the spare bedroom (where Mom sometimes naps when visiting) to look for her (Mom) and she was "there but then disappeared through the wall, because she didn't want to see him".
Further, he got all upset - Mom was holding him at the time and suddenly she was crying and she started to tell me she could feel his grief (it was really strong, all choked-up throat and so on sensations) then after he went on in this vein for a little tiny bit more, he suddenly said he was "done" and "bored" and as I was saying that to her, he proceeded to jump out of her arms and walk away with one last What was the problem, anyway? with the attitude of Wondering what WE were so upset about.
What had actually happened was when the dog walkers came to walk Fox, I asked one of them if they'd hold Danny for me for a sec so I could put some drops into both of his ears that he needed. She did so, he didn't like it, the usual drill, and he split. However, they were new to him and so this acted as a fearful incident on top of an irritating incident. So instead of his usual scurrying off and then returning to the room about 10 minutes later, this time he looked all weird and heavy-headed. The incident, this one time, had stuck with him.  So when Mom noticed this and so picked him up and asked him if there was "anything he wanted to tell Grandma today?" He told her the above story...again, very simplistic - the dog walkers were there, one held him, the other bonked him over the head (noticed I'm not even in this version for some reason), he went into the bedroom Where's Grandma? and Grandma was in there (this having occurred when she was actually over at her place, mind you) but she when went "through the wall" and disappeared, because she "didn't want to see him" (heavy grief on this point).(That's when I noticed Mom had just started crying.) A bit more of this and that was said, then he lightened up, felt better, bored, and he jumped down and that was that.
It's not always death that triggers a bit of delusory "think". It can be pain, a good scare, confusion, things out of control (in their estimation, NOT ours), near death, being yelled at, called to with alarm in one's voice, emotional range too much - too much for their tolerance I mean - including emotional range too high, too low, too much laughing, too much yelling, too much crying, too much worrying, etc.; things of this nature.
And this is in their normal environment with normal scares, irritating situations, familiar turf.
(Back to Passed Over & Passing Over Pet Consultations Order Here if this is where you last were)
"Guiding" and "Tracking" Them 
One thing owners insist that I try to do is guide their animals along. Another thing that owners insist that can be done is my "tracking" the animal as they walk, like I can see through their eyes every second - that is, like I am occupying the pet's body. What's to the left? What's to the right? Now, I can see what visuals the animal being might send along as we communicate, but they are also living, breathing, fearing, dashing about, and Aunt Julie is not their main concern. I can keep them sufficiently focused for a decent two-way conversation but even that won't necessarily be a continuous stream of logical thought from their end.
The animals do not get my comm as a bunch of "words". I send them a concept and they get that concept. At their end - same as with human beings!!! - there is a variance of what they'll think, if they even think. Humans will get all into Woo-woo!!! What does it all mean?! whereas an animal is just tootling along, existing. If I send them the idea to turn right, they may or may not simply turn right...not thinking about what the difference is between Right and Left, what does it all mean, when one drives a car they use turn signals to show if they're turning right or left, I didn't like my driving instructor in High School, why is green for go and red for stop, what do color blind people do in these instances, how old was Helen Keller when she died - etc. The human can have a lot of mental chatter going on. The animal who is outside can be the other end of the spectrum with little thought processes going on beyond base survival impulses and thoughts (if that). They move about although it doesn't occur to them that they are doing so. They don't have to think They have to act and react. Millions of years of survival has programmed this into their "make-up", and that's what happens to the lap-dog or the contented kitty.
Pet owners seem to think that if the pet indicates that they do have an idea which direction is Home, that the dog or cat can simply head that direction and make it. This is not always the case. Sure, I can tell the dog to "go home", but the animal does not necessarily simply follow some path directly from point A to point B, kind of like a Crow Flies.
I finally got my hands on something which shows how these guys travel. This picture shows genuine tracked paths of three different dogs who had GPS (Global Positioning System) units attached to them. The Jack Russell was fetching a stick while running along a beach, but the Border Collie and the Poodle were simply walking around.  
And if this still isn't enough for you, simply watch a dog or cat sometime.
Look. If the pet has the intention to get home, and knows where home is, they'll make it anyway, barring some unforseen distraction or predator. Frightening distractions include bad weather, a dog barks, a car screeches, a lawn mower starts, a car door closes, someone calls out Hey! Kitty kitty kitty!, Here boy!, etc. The pet can make it home but they are out of their element, their known turf, and
'Nuf said on that. Back to lost pets...
Cats and Dogs
I'm generalizing here, but...
I tell this to clients:  Kitties are very, very hard to "find". Virtually none of my clients have "found" one yet, per se (as in - they drive up and down the streets and there's their cat!) ~ the cats get back to their owners. They come back on their own terms, in their own time, this type of thing. Occasionly someone takes one in and then sees a flyer and so the cat gets home that way. True, sometimes the owner will find evidence of the cat having hung out where they told Aunt Julie they would hang out, etc., but overall, kitties' lives are so full of, so riddled with, kitty-predator, bouncing wildness, short attention span, being spooky and scary and whee! hiding and this and that, you know, all the traits we see of them as, well, cats, that it's hard for them to overcome this. They are "loyal" but can be very hissy-pissy and "attitude" about things.
Dogs are more "focused" and intent but definitely get weirded out, scared, defensive, over-confident about their abilities, growly, and/or friendly to the point of glomming onto anyone they see (which can be a double-edged sword). They are more "loyal", overall, than cats, in attitude.
Both species fall back on primal survival urges. We and our concerns slip down the totem pole of actual and genuine importance really fast.
And owners note:  YES, they will most likely run from you when they first see you again (especialy cats), according to what they have told me to tell their owners.  Don't take it personally. It's generally sent to me as a combination of "out of context", motion and/or sudden motion, unexpectded emotion(s) at one or both ends, a Human Is Suddenly Interested In Them (regardless of who that human is).
So just know that.
An important part is keeping them focused on getting home. I cannot stress this enough. This has been a primary recovery success factor and falls under the category of "intangible help" which your pet must must have to make it home. File it under "C" for "Cosmic" if you will, but heed my words on this! Yes, there can be cosmic factors, spiritual issues, whatever you want to call them, at play here, including what the animal senses or feels about or at home. Sometimes there are previously unsuspected upsets. There is someone at home who keeps telling you "They're dead, I know it". The pet has been bored for 3 years and thought it was time for a day off...oops! Don't underestimate the power of telepahty and any other form of communication.
Now, with lost pets, it's not always like it is in the movies, where the dog magically knows how to cross the entire nation to find his way back to your doorstep like some bionic Lassie: animals, like human beings, have varying degrees of intuition, sense of direction, ability to function when frightened or unstabilized and the like. When you take them for their weekly trip to the park, they're not necessarily paying attention to local landmarks, either, so sometimes they can be on their way home after running away and be as close as a block away from home and still not have a clue how close they are! So what you have to "put out there" to instill and reinforce is persistence. It's extremely difficult for me even with all my Consultations to stomach the depth of anguish connected to a missing animal but somehow this needs to be maintained by pet owners with missing pets.
For what it's worth, yes, sometimes they do shine. Here's a news clip VERY much worth the time spent viewing:
Weird Things They Say
See, some animals wish to play games about it. They're so blown away by being "free!" that they kinda....don't want to come home right now, and play all sorts of "deflection" games about the subject. They don't want to just say that they're having too much fun and feel guilty. This phase, if it exists, usually lasts about 3 days. The danger is they're in (out!) over their heads as all manner of things can happen to them and they're often quite naive about this.
Other pets would like to come home but are a bit backoff-ish about it. They're afraid of some of the "silliest" things (to us) and these fears have to be known and alleviated for them by you and I, or the growing length of absence alone will lessen the odds of their safe return while they ponder their fears and sniff the flowers, or run for more miles. If we can get to the bottom of their back-off, all of a sudden they "magically come back". This does happen, and we will know where that magic came from: Communication.
Hunger, trauma, and the increasing unreality in their minds of being home, safe with the family, domesticated and back to being a Creature of Habit adds to the dilemma. I've had more than a few "neglect" to tell me that they were with a human, were home, or were dead. So time and honed and honest communication is of the essence. See this Testimonial... and then this one, which by the way is one of the best client write-ups I ever read. You'll see why when you read it.
Then return back here to continue reading.... There will be links to take right back here.
I can never wrap my mind around people snatching (as in kidnapping with intent to keep) a pet who has tags on. It makes NO sense - but then, crime never does. If there's a collar with no tags even, still it's someone's dog and should go to a Shelter or vet for thorough microchip scanning and assistance in any needed form (medical, etc.).
According to an article in a recent Good Housekeeping, "Nearly two million animals are nabbed every year, often right from their owner's yard; some are sold to research laboratories, dog-fight rings, or puppy mills."
From an article about a lost cat who was reunited with his owners after 2 years because of his microchip:
"Animal care experts also advise that pets wear collars and tags. Most people seeing a stray animal would assume it didn't have a home if it wasn't wearing a collar even if it had a microchip."
I do wonder if people harbor the idea that any dog turned in will be killed in 3 days etc. and so keep the pet for humanitarian reasons. I've wondered that myself of the local "pound"....had that sneaking fear or suspicion. I had a friend once who took a dog to the Humane Society and they swore over and over that they had a no-kill policy - to this day, I still wonder. This can "drive ya nuts". But you have to trust somebody.
I try and think through thought processes to see how things would realistically unfold, in real life, for missing pets. Be forewarned, they don't "put out" a lot of true data, it seems. They don't lie but they never seem to put out too much of value, either. It's the weirdest thing....they "change" as it were, get more confused, more feral or primal perhaps, less "associated".
There is the rare pet that simply does not wish to come home. It has happened.That's when it's time to knuckle down and confront any number of factors that may be causing this. I do the absolute best I can with each and every animal, is all I can say.
And if nothing else, there's the "cosmic allness" factor - see this recent national news article. It's one of many, but the one's short enough to include on my site. I've seen many more like this. Hey - who knows?! 

Some press I picked up here and there, just for the "hope factor" of it all ~ MICROCHIP "WINS"
by Helena Sung Jul 10th 2009 9:00AM, PawNation (red is MY emphasis...)
Actor David Charvet reunited with Jake (see photo left frame)
Last year was a rough year -- pet-wise -- for former Baywatch and Melrose Place star David Charvet and fiancé Brooke Burke (winner of Dancing With the Stars, Season 7). The couple lost two of their three dogs to cancer and old age, and then their chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy Jake went missing.
"We searched for him high and low for months, hospitals, local vets, and animal rescues," writes Burke on her blog Modern Mom. "After a long while, we lost hope, and determined that he left home and must have died of a broken heart."
Charvet and Burke were heartbroken too. Their two-year old daughter Rain hadn't stopped talking about Jake since he disappeared. (You can see a picture of the entire family in their adorable "Nothing Compares to Family" ad for Skechers Footwear.) "We were just about to get a new dog, a puppy for the kids," says Burke, when fate stepped in.
On June 15th, nine months after he disappeared, the family received the phone call they'd been dreaming of. "It was a vet 20 miles away. They said they had Jake!" Burke gleefully blogged. "Someone found Jake in our town, had no idea who his owner was (Jake had no collar) and gave him to a neighbor who took him in and cared for him."
Luckily, Charvet -- currently appearing on The Superstars -- had Jake microchipped as a puppy. When Jake's new owner took him to the vet for a checkup, the man relayed the story of the dog's adoption. The vet decided to scan Jake and "Immediately, David's info and phone number showed up and the vet was obligated to contact us," explains Burke.
As overjoyed as they were to have Jake back, Burke describes the experience as "bittersweet." The man who had taken Jake in and cared for him for nine months (he apologized for not thinking to have Jake scanned) was losing a friend.
"Thank God for honest people who are selfless enough to do the right thing," Burke writes. "I hope something wonderful happens to Audy in the Valley, for caring for Jake and letting him go..."
Today, Charvet remains grateful to "Audy in the Valley" for keeping Jake safe and bringing him back home. "Getting Jake back is almost a miracle," Charvet says. "After ten months of being missing, he's back where he belongs. I feel like our family is complete again."

Missouri Dog Found in Montana Years Later
LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (April 4, 2007) - A Boston terrier named Mickey that disappeared four years ago from his suburban Kansas City backyard was reunited with his owners this week after he was found in Montana.
Cher Jarosz and her daughter Kari Mitchell thought they had lost Mickey forever - until they received a call from an animal shelter last week 1,100 miles away in Billings, Mont.
A microchip on Mickey that contained information on his owners helped the Billings Animal Shelter return him, Mitchell said.
Mitchell called her mom with the amazing news last week: "You're never going to believe this," she told her.
Only Mickey knows how he wound up in Montana, and that's fine by Mitchell.
"We're happy to have him home," she told KSHB-TV in Kansas City after Mickey caught a flight home. "I just hope whoever was taking care of him, I hope they were just glad he's home."
The family said he looks different and doesn't remember his name. His teeth show signs of wear and tear.
The shelter did not immediately return a message left Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Long-lost cat found 3,000 miles away
Series: AROUND THE STATE:[STATE / SUNCOAST Edition] St. Petersburg Times.
St. Petersburg, Fla.: Apr 23, 2004. pg. 4.B
Trying to locate the owner of a newly arrived stray cat three weeks ago, workers in San Francisco's Department of Animal Care and Control couldn't believe what they found: It belonged to a woman in Bradenton, 3,000 miles away.
Pamela Edwards adopted the black, short-haired cat in the summer of 1997, naming it Cheyenne. A few months later, Cheyenne disappeared. Edwards got no response to fliers she posted and ads she ran in the local paper.
This month she got a call from her local shelter: Cheyenne was in San Francisco.
"I figured, there's no way," Edwards said. "I've never lived in San Francisco."
Someone found Cheyenne wandering down a San Francisco street April 1. Animal workers scanned her, found a microchip and traced her to Edwards.
"Maybe she came here on vacation because she wanted to see the Wine Country, and decided to stick around because it's not so muggy," said Deb Campbell, spokeswoman for Animal Care.
Dog reunited with owners after four years
LISKEARD, England (UPI) -- A collie-mix, missing for four years, has been reunited with her British owners, who were on their honeymoon when the dog escaped a dog kennel.
David Hunt and his wife Nicola had lived in Manchester, England, with their dog Holly, but while on their honeymoon in the Far East, they left their dog with Nicola Hunt's mother in Liskeard, about 350 miles away from their home.
During the honeymoon, Mrs. Hunt's parents went on a brief vacation and left the dog in a kennel, but the dog escaped, the Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.
The married couple searched for the day on weekends and placed posters throughout the Liskeard area, but the dog eluded capture with traps, nets and bait laced with tranquillizers.
After two years, the Hunts moved to Liskeard hoping it would make it easier to search for the dog.
Last Thursday, the dog walked into a Liskeard home and the homeowners recognized her from a photograph in the newspaper and called the dog warden, who notified the Hunts.
Holly was dirty, but described as in good condition.
See the above mentioned news clip, as well. Here's that link again. It doesn't pull any punches, this one, but the realism is beneficial and a bit refreshing.

Tips and Resources 
RIGHT NOW Tips for a Missing Animal:
Don't forget the obvious: locked in the closet or toy chest, cat's up a tree, dog's under the house. Did your toddler pull their tail so they ran and hid? It could be that simple. See the table following this one regarding Hidden Kitties.
Call any and all appropriate authorities and "register" your pet as missing and/or whatever else they require.
Find out now who you would need to call, before it's needed.
Where does your pet like to go? What's familiar and within roaming range? Call there fast or go there.
Paper the city and surrounding areas with posters. (Make sure you take into account the speed an animal can travel, even when injured. A dog can travel miles in a day, so post your notices beyond your neighborhood). Run an ad. Find a sympathetic radio station to announce it. Alert your neighbors - even the ones you don't know! Don't forget local 7-11s, schools and other such heavily trafficked places.
Have a large picture of your pet tucked away in case you ever need to make color copies, or scanned and ready in your computer in case you need for printing out as a poster or to paste onto a larger poster.
Broaden your search. Yes, even broader than that! Your pet can TRAVEL. BE DETAILED. On your poster, for example, even though locally distributed, don't put "State Avenue and Jones Street by the McDonalds and the Shell Station, my number is 555.1111". More like:  State and Jones Streets (by McDonalds & a Shell Station); off of Rte. 73 (or, let's say, Exit 443 "Bongoville" off the Hollybonk Freeway North); (city of) Smithsville, Jones County; suburb of Roscoe, IL. - and put your AREA CODE by that phone number! You'd be surprised at how many pets end up in a nearby county (an occasionally, state) and the folks there don't associate that with you, your poster, your internet posting, your location, your pet because either you didn't post the details there, or they try to call you and it's a wrong area code but they don't know it, or they simply don't know their neighboring ciities. Hey, I've lived in Florida for 20 years now and maybe it's just me, but there are cities and counties around where I live that I can't identify or just "sound familiar".  And with the internet, you can post to all sorts of boards, forward email and so on, and it's too easy to forget how detailed you need to be. You can NEVER TELL.
Keep on top of the Shelters. Do not trust the accuracy of their written descriptions (gender, breed, color, distinguishing markings) or that they have been persistent in their scanning for your pet's microchip.
Make sure your place smells strongly like, well, your place. If you wear Chanel #5 and smoke Newports, douse it on and fire 'em up - now's not the time for social graces and being politically correct. Your pet lives with YOU so be you. Go outside and smell the place up so that your pet recognizes these combination Mommy (Daddy)-odor smells. Strew your dirty laundry around, their favorite blanket, a scoop of their litter box, similar. Pee (yes, pee) in a spray bottle and sprinkle it on the lawn, tree leaves, etc. Use it like a trail of bread crumbs if applicable.
Smell the outside as well, really smell the air, the grass, the trees. Hold their favorite toy, really look at their food bowl...Put those smells and mental pictures out as strong impressions for your pet to pick up on. Apartment dwellers: apply this as best you can, such as with opened windows, rub odor-substances around window sills, bottom of outer doors, etc.
Transmit your own "beacon" constantly to your pet and have family members (including pets!) do the same. Just tell them to do it and that's that. Also in any fashion you feel you can do this, "be" your animal and walk them home or direct them homeward, no little human-significant details such as names of streets and such - just home. And as you are working together with them, intend them to find their own inner sense of how to get home (and every being is different so their sense will be their sense, that's why you keep it that simple.) Don't underestimate telepathy. Now's not the time for skepticsm. You have everything to gain, so just do it.
Do try to keep this part of it as calm, focused, honed, sane, whatever you want to call it - as you can. Sending out frantic, gloppy, I miss you, I can't stand it, grief, I still love you, Do you know Mommy misses you?, Rover is looking for you, Kitty is sniffing at your bed (ETC) can UPSET them. They know you love them. They know 99.9% of the time that you didn't put them out on the street. Even if you accidentally left the gate open, get OVER it before transmitting to the pet - the pet doesn't know, couldn't care less, and/or isn't into "blame". We humasn do that. There's no room for that in this venture. It happened, you can feel as awful as you will or will not about it ANOTHER TIME (and YES I undersstand and am not an unfeeling beeyatch!!!), but, see, putting that over their way will NOT increase odds or chances of their coming back. It can upset them, they know you're upset, theyalready got that, and now they can also associate thoughts of you/home with having to handle Mommy, to console Daddy, to be worried about if the parents are stilll mad at Johnny for leaving the door open (etc). Not relevant and the destructive power can outweigh the constructive power of such communications to them. The swirling, overwhelming grief, upset, confusion, regret that can come over you in waves? They'll get at least a part of that wave. So try - just try. I know it's hard.
If you have to leave, have a friend or neighbor keep an eye out for your pet so that if they return out of the blue, they can be caught or otherwise helped and you can be alerted. Give that person free financial rein to take the animal to your vet and give them the vet's phone number for directions or advice.
If you have to be away, know how to check your home messages remotely and do so frequently. Don't wait until after hours to hear a message from a now-closed Shelter that "we may have your dog".
Keep your pet's tags readable and up-to-date! including how to actually reach you (cell phone etc.). If needed to fit all info, pay that little bit more for a two-sided (and also light-reflective) tag. Put "Reward" on tag if applicable. If  your pet is microchipped do NOT forget to keep their information up-to-date in the fashion you were instructed when you had this done or acquired them. Check with your vet if you have any questions. It's like car insurance - it only takes that one time when it was lapsed...yet it's simple enough to keep on top of.
Pet Detectives and the like are NOT "communictors", at least, not as I define what I do. They do what they do, and they can be VERY valuable in helping you recover your lost or missing pet. I have put together some notes on some I've come across; I can't speak for any of them personally but I have included anything I've heard or read which seems to be of note. The rest you can get from their sites, calling them, etc.
For starters, here's a web site I recently came across called Resources for Lost Pets, subtitled "Animal Communicators Search & Rescue Web Resources (*work with Lost Animals and not as an Animal Communicator) This list compiled by Morgine Jurdan December 2005". I cannot speak for them, but I certainly can list this site.
Ok. Next, according to an article I read in Good Housekeeping June 2005, a favorite method of Melody Pugh, renowned "Pet Detective" (who has an amazing 80 percent success rate returning pets to homes) is animal profiling. They give an example where a prize-winning schipperke had run away from a dog show. Pugh researched this breed's profile and learned that schipperkes are unlikely to run far before hunkering down. She set a humane trap containing raw hamburger a quarter mile from where the dog had last been seen. Early the next morning he appeared and was trapped. The article also mentions that one of her successful actions is looking for clues (broken spiderwebs, a tuft of fur, a pile of droppings).
Obviously, profiling and looking for clues must be adapted to your pet's species, breed and habits and your home and perhaps any local or regional quirks, terrain, etc. but do not overlook any angle of how to get your baby back!
There are more Pet Detectives and I have no personal experience with any of them, but you can certainly do your own net search. As a Communicator, I can get input from the animal; a detective on-the-scene and/or advising you can perhaps utilize this information to narrow the search.
A link I found which you could try: Pethunters. Their site seems good and reputable. There's a page Find A Lost Pet, as well as other informative pages.
You can try also Lost A Pet, Pet Detective Karen Goin, and also Kat Albrecht's site. Clients have told me about them. As a matter of fact, one wrote me about two of them, regarding someone who had a missing pet in the Philly area: "Be sure to tell him about http://www.lostapet.org/ and Pet Detective Kat Albrecht who may even have a trained missing pets technician in the Philly area. He should email Kat at 1koolkat@lostapet.org or call her at 559-292-4334." Then another client told me that Kat's not doing the work anymore but has trained many folks to do so (this is the same client who told me about Karen Goin). Kat's site says, "The lost pet rescue stories in my book reflect a period of my life (1997 – 2000) when I was actively searching for lost pets and was physically able to do so. Now that my book has been published, I have shifted from the role of responding to searches as a pet detective to training and certifying other pet detectives through Pet Hunters International (http://www.pethuntersinternational.com), the world’s first pet detective academy."
Karen Goin uses tracking dogs to help locate animals (among other services). The client who told me about her lives in a snowy area. I figured rain and snow would make the tracking hard or near impossible (scent-wise); this is what happens in TV and in the movies! but she said that she was told that this supposedly enhanced it. She hunted a bit on the net and found a site International K-9 Search and Rescue Services for Missing People and Pets, which says in their FAQs, Q. Doesn't rain hurt your ability to find the scent?  A. We search year-round in the heavy rains here in the Pacific Northwest and in the jungles and rain forests in other countries. Rain actually helps our searching capabilities. It refreshes the scent and brings it closer to the surface so the search dog can smell it. Rain also keeps the search dogs' nasal passages moist so they can hold the scent longer.
A client forwarded me this email: "80 per cent of lost pets are return home, with in 24 to 48 hrs of just talking with Mr. Washington. As seen on CNN & FOX TV, just click his website for reference. http://www.petdetectiveusa.com If you are afraid of links, then just put Washington Pet Detective as key words in a search engine.  I do  travel with tracking and search dogs, also my on-line Profile service, return over 75 missing pets back home each year, do this for your family member now, Cell 706-339-2418 call 24/7 all calls are a free service, get the answers you need now. For profile details E-Mail or Call me." The grammer in this ad made me wonder aboout this guy, but the web site's home page looks good. You can check him out for yourself. / NOTE Nov 2006 a person I don't know emailed me out of the blue and wanted to let me know that they'd read over this Lost/Missing Pets page on my site (the one you're on) for tips on how to find their missing snake. One thing they got off this page was this resource, the above phone number (Mr Washington's) and they called him. She said he gave her some hope that she might find her snake, and also that he gave her some hints on how to draw him out that the other pet and snake people did not. Anyway, I was impressed even that they had taken the time to contact ME to let me know! So that's a vote of confidence from them...
Dog Detective ~ You can check out this site as well. Again, I can't speak for him one way or the other but hey - a resource is a resource!   http://dogdetective.com
Best Friends Magazine Sept/Oct '05 issue had a "Your Mail" letter from Irene Sriboonwong (irene.la@verizon.net) regarding a site she created when her dog Hurricane went missing. She writes that it's a free site called K9Alert (K9alert.com) that "alerts the public about lost, stray and found dogs. It saves people having to comb through all the different websites. If everyone who posts a lost/found dog message on a website also posts one on www.K9Alert.com, the chance of finding a lost dog is so much better."
Multiple People on the case
Sometimes owners use more than one person to try and gather information as well. You may find yourself enlisting the help of others (map dowsers, Animal Communicators who specialze in lost pets, etc.) as this is a desparate and pivotal time.  You will find that while I have little tolerance for scheisters, I am a tolerant and encouraging person and very supportive of avenues utilizied to find your baby. I think it's a good idea. Great, in fact. It's smart and I would think they'd want to know about it, to coordinate efforst. However, some of them get touchy or weird about this like it somehow "clouds" things - ? well, maybe it does for them, I can't say nor judge, but anyway, communication ideally should be open and free-flowing, so do check it out with your helpers. The bottom line is you want your pet back, so a team effort can be of use!  (Sometimes the animal gets overwhelmed by too many people "on the case". That's a different story, and doesn't happen every single time.)
There are countless lost and missing cats. Ever see them in your travels? Where are they all?
There IS the possiblity that they are right under your nose.
Clever Hiding Places At Home for Kitty
Cats are extremely good at finding hiding places They are also not "into" being found, and are generally very proud of their ability to be "invisible" - under the best of circumstancs!
If Kitty's missing or it's time for kitty to go to the vet, or you think they may have escaped outside, check these places first.
All drawers, even the ones that are too small for your cat and haven't been opened in the last hundred years (they can get behind the dresser, underneath the partition and climb up the back of the drawers).
In and around file cabinets.
Inside suitcases.
Behind the books in a bookcase.
Boxsprings and mattresses: if there is a small hole or tear in the lining, they can climb in and be nearly undetectable.
Anywhere they might be able to get into walls/floors/ceiling (eg, forced-air ducts, plumbing, etc).
Behind and under appliances, such as the refrigerater or stove.
All cabinets; cats can often open them and slip inside.
Inside the refrigerator (this can happen!).
Closets, even closed ones. (Personal note ~ my cat can slip into a closet faster than I can look down and see him do so, even from the other side of the room. He also will not let on that he's in there. That ruins the fun, and this is regardless of how I feel about it ~ Julie)
Inside reclining chairs. They often have a ledge that supports the footrest when its out, so you have to look inside it, not just check for kitty paws on the floor under it.
Chimneys! You may want to keep those flues closed whenever possible.
Julie's addition to the list:  Anywhere they feel that YOU (the dog, whoever) can't find them / that they feel instinctively they "can't be found".
Cats can squeeze themselves into spots you'd never think they'd fit, so don't overlook any spots that you think are "too small."
AND remember:  Cats are very INTO "hiding" and NOT being found.
Other ideas and support available at:

Here's some info from an article (June 2k8) from Fresh Step kitty litter's site which may be of use:
When your indoor cat darts out the front door or your outdoor cat fails to return home for dinner, it is a dreadful feeling. Concern about their safety and welfare plagues you until you are reunited. Unfortunately not all lost cats get reunited with their owners. However there are ways to minimize the chances of ever losing a cat and ways to maximize the chances of a successful reunion, if your cat should ever become lost.
Maintain an indoor-only policy for your cat. Indoor only cats have longer life-spans and suffer less injury and disease than their outdoor counterparts. Indoor only cats do need indoor enrichment such as elevated perches and owner initiated play, but with these they can have happy indoor-only lives. Giving your cat periodic access outside may encourage attempts to escape at times that aren't so safe (e.g. nighttime). If you want your cat to have some outdoor access, consider creating a cat proofed yard to contain your cat safely in your yard while allowing it outdoor access. There are commercially available products to help create this option.
Neuter/Spay your cat. By surgically removing their reproductive organs, you reduce the drive for your cat to find a mate and the roaming that accompanies this activity.
Have a current, clear photo of your cat. If your cat ever does become lost, a picture may aid in the reunion. A clear, close up photo of your cat placed on posters is much more helpful than a written description.
Create a neutral zone. If your indoor only cat tends to wait for an opportunity to dart out the door, it may be best to create a neutral zone before opening any external doors. The ease of doing this may depend on the floor plan of your home, but if you enter/exit via a mud or laundry room, you simply would close the door to the mud/laundry room, ensuring the cat was not in this area, before opening the door to the outside. Another option would be to put your cat into a bedroom before opening any external doors.
Double check security of all windows/screens. Cats are fairly agile and cat fit through small openings. Make sure that all your windows and screens are secure to prevent a cat from escaping or falling out of a window.
Have your cat wear a collar with identification tags. Ironically, the cats that could probably benefit the most from wearing a collar with identification tags, are the group that is the least likely to have them. Indoor only cats are more likely to get frightened, disoriented and truly lost if they get outside so having a collar with identification is critical for this group of cats. Make sure that you get a cat-safe collar (a collar that will release if it gets caught/snagged on something) to prevent against accidental choking. It may be particularly helpful to identify the indoor only status of your cat on its tag so that if someone finds your cat, they will recognize that it truly is lost and needs help. If there is limited space for information on the tag, consider placing your cat's name, your last name, your phone number and the statement "Indoor-only, Reward" on the identification tag instead of your address, to clarify that this cat needs immediate assistance.
Microchip your cat. In addition to a collar and identification tags, a microchip is indicated for all cats. A microchip is a tiny (size of a grain of rice) device injected under the skin by a veterinarian. This little chip has a unique identification number that can be read by a scanner that is held up next to the cat's skin. If registered in a data base, that unique number will provide the rescue organization/veterinarian with your contact information. Almost all veterinary clinics and rescue groups have scanners and routinely check found animals for this vital piece of information. If you neglect to register or update your information in the database, the microchip may not be helpful, so it is critical that you do this after getting the microchip placed and after any relocation. One of the great benefits of a microchip is that it can't fall off, as a collar may. However, it doesn't replace the need for a collar/ID tag. Instead, the two identification methods compliment each other to provide the greatest chance of a successful reunion.
If your outdoor cat does not return home one day, the most likely reasons are that it is injured/ill/deceased, it is trapped, or it has found a better place to reside. Cats are naturally inquisitive and may be drawn to sheds or garages when the doors are open, getting trapped when an unaware person closes the door. Your cat may remain trapped until the next time your neighbor accesses that area. So make sure to check with your neighbors and have them open any closed spaces if your cat fails to return home on its usual schedule.
Have your cat wear a collar/identification tag. Cats with outdoor access should wear a collar and identification tag to help people recognize that they are an owned cat. For cats that are allowed outdoor access, the tag information should contain the cat's name, your last name and contact information including phone and address. The address is important here because this may allow someone to identify that your cat has wondered far from home and is in need of help.
Microchip your cat. Consider a microchip for your cats. See above for details.
Keep your cat inside at night. Although traumatic injury and cat altercations can happen at any time, risk escalates when the sun sets. By establishing a routine where your outdoor cat returns home in the evening and is contained inside the home overnight, you reduce risk. An evening routine check-in will also alert you early in the course of a disappearance so that you can pursue reunion tactics.
Finding a lost cat. Various methods may be employed to find a lost cat: posting neighborhood signs, checking animal agencies, posting internet alerts, running newspaper advertisements, alerting veterinary hospitals in your area and canvassing the neighborhood and alerting neighbors.
Most lost cats don't travel great distances so recovery efforts should be concentrated in your neighborhood, making sure to check any dark hiding spots such as crawl spaces or sheds or garages.
When posting a lost pet sign or ad, include identifying information about your cat – gender (including neuter/spay status), coat color, eye color, age, name and any distinguishing features, including collar color/design. A clear color picture can be very helpful. Be sure to include your contact information and date of disappearance. 
In one study of 138 lost cats, about half of the cats (53%) were recovered and the average time to recovery was 5 days. Most cats that were recovered returned home on their own (59%). The highest success rate of any search method used was posting neighborhood signs, although even this was not highly successful, only representing 12% of the recovered cats. Only 19% of the cats in this study had some type of identification at the time they were lost. A neutered/spayed cat was more likely to be successfully reunited with its owner than was a sexually intact cat.

Dog, missing 9 years, returned to family in Ky.
February 27, 2009 - 9:36am
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) - A German shepherd named Astro who has been missing from his family for more than 9 years is finally home.
The Geary family was shocked when they recently received a call from an animal control officer who said that Astro had been found.
The dog went missing from the Geary family's Port St. Lucie, Fla. home shortly after the family adopted him. Since then, they have moved three times and ended up in Louisville, Ky.
On Jan. 29, 2009, an animal control officer in Tennessee picked up Astro after receiving a report about a dog running loose. Officers tracked down the family through a microchip implanted in the canine.
Dennis Geary says he wasn't sure if Astro would remember him. But when they were reunited, the dog sat down and began licking him.


What has Aunt Julie done for or regarding lost / missing pets?
My forté with Lost Pets had always been getting and keeping them calmed and focused. Know that this calmness lasts until they are confronted with something frightening or startling, and their "focus" can be flighty at best. I have found however  that often times the animal felt most comfortable with Aunt Julie's empathy while other did the detective work. All info needed to be coordinated through you and also so that I can let your pet know that I know this is happening. This is what I had folks contact me for, at that time. And I definitely worked to get you the current "whatever they have to say". What the value of that is, always remained to be seen. Unfortunately, and a major part of why I discontinued doing this is, it usually IS quite valueless as (1) their contextual focus is splattered about, and (2) their input no things (locale etc.) becomes outdated in approximately 15-20 seconds after it's said.
My biggest successes are when the animal just took off, and also in helping narrow down the general locale, region, neighborhood they're in (which isn't necessarily attributable to "me" but that's fine, too),
We all have our strengths. Mine? I can quite often hold a pet together during trying times. I am extremely good at comforting lost and distressed animals although that gets increasingly difficult as each conversation occurs where the focus is on (and understandably so) Where are you/ How do we get you back? etc.. Why? Because that's not why they're upset, per se. It's an influence: being lost, and/or picking up on your upset....but...they've got more important things on their mind than worrying about, picking up on, responding to, what someone thinks about the subject of Their Being Lost/Missing.
This is another major reason I'm not really doing these anymore. I'm tired of upsetting animals!! by constant and understandable from our point-of-view checking, checking, checking on them, their every thought, move, location, idea, impression, etc. YIKES!  
Often (though not always), the animal fell into wanting to simply talk with Aunt Julie, but telling the "details" to others. They wanted to tell me about themselves, they wanted to hear stories of fun and fanciful things, just hear their own voice with someone listening. They freaked out at being asked for addresses or their captor's checking account balance. They buckled under the significances of "why this all happened". They needed to be bolstered and cheered up, calmed down and soothed. They are alone out there; even when seeing people (which owners assume is Their Ticket Home), and this often made them feel more alone and scared. We would work out that they are to trust "people in uniforms", to "cooperate with Animal Control people", "trust people with dogs as they are dog lovers", etc., but when it comes down to it, they shy away just as you would imagine. Humanizing your pet is NOT a very good or reliable idea, some of the worst times being when they're stressed, traumatized, lost, disoriented, tired, sick, upset, scared, etc.  It seldom matters if Mommy had Aunt Julie tell them all about how safe it is, and got their agreement to approach another person or Go to where you smell veterinary smells (or whatever), as soon as a person approaches them, they freak out and run (if they even stick around longer than 4-5 minutes past our chat).  Lost, cold, hot, feverish, bug-bitten, hungry, tired, "guilty" disoriented, much more feral and "wild" than they were in the safety of your apartment, they ride the line between giving up and determined overkill in getting home (which can lead to mistakes such as barging into the street with wild abandon in order to "Find Mommy").
On the positive side, in the course of my frequent chats with them, the animal would feel safer, not alone, and not abandoned in the ongoing ruthless (and necessary) "search for clues". That's because I insisted on it being that way as much as possible. This was not, however, your average, desired "help me find my lost pet" Pet Communicator Consultation ("reading", "session") and too many times I could not provide what you felt you needed (even when you thought what I could do would suffice). I care what the animal needs and wants more than the owner (don't take that the wrong way) so after some years of this, like i said, I'm done taking on Lost / Missing animal Consults.  
I have learned why all those cop shows have themes of "You must remove yourself from the investigation, you're too 'close'!" Imagine a cop searching for their own child while also able to talk with this child on some untraceable phone line. The cop has to be determined and unemotional, yet put on a different "face" while talking with the child. I am that "face" for you. Your pet, feeling safer and more comforted, and will remain that much more rational and will often open up with details which come about "conversationally" with me and not with others. This, too, is of value to you.
Don't think folks didn't tell me to try for that $5,000 reward for that show dog that ran off on the airport tarmac and so on. I wouldn't even hear of it, yet of course found myself going on and on to try and make it real to someone how and why it was I wasn't interested in "just try'ing!
If someone else can do that, more power to them. We all do what we can do; they may have more applicable abilities than I. The ultimate goal is the return of your pet and all have their fortés and mine is getting the animal's comm and relaying it to you, and this is not a workable occurrence with lost pets.  I deliver what I say I deliver, and that's why I'm taking the time to explain how things go.
As well, when I was doing it, cost added up with the further pain of no pet back safe and sound. We're not putting that out here as the expected or hoped for result, obviously, but again, it needs to be said. Yeah it's your checkbook - and it's your pet - but once I took them on, they were my "baby" too, so I couldn't say no. I'm not interested in the torture of it all when I just end up passing along upset communication from them which confuses and upsets you. After 17 times of them Not Knowing If They're "Inside" Or "Outside", get the idea that they don't know. OR they aren't saying, can't grasp or retain the concept(s), and/or are too traumatized by it to perceive or "process" physical universe reality.
I know I just wrote a LOT about this. Well, it's a big subject.

Helping Others ~ Just A Perspective
A recent Consultation having to do with a missing animal brought something to my and the owner's attention like a hot slap in the face: people don't always think to alert authorities of loose animals. How many times have we been driving down the street, seen a dog trotting down the sidewalk, noticed it absent-mindedly and done nothing? Even if we think we should call "someone", who do we actually call? And maybe it's illegal to use the cell phone in our car. And maybe our friend's in the car talking to us and doesn't want us to stop to make such a "silly" call. And we don't want to pay 411 to find out the number of the appropriate agency. And the dog's got tags anyway, and look at how he stays on the sidewalk - wow! so he must be well trained and street smart and shucks, he'll find his way back home, and...oh, there's Burger King! Dog out of sight, out of mind.
That dog is somebody's dog. Chances are excellent that he's lost, perhaps 30 miles from home already. The tags are nice but only if read. Big distraction = right into the street, maybe in front of your car. And someone just like you is being ripped apart minute-by-minute wondering where he is, is he dead or alive, has he been picked up by someone? Are the tags still on him? Will some authority or "place" put him to sleep? They lose sleep, work time, call-call-call...it's a living nightmare.
You don't have to personally rescue the animal. If it's a cat, good luck anyway. If it's a dog, this can be a scary, daunting and dangerous task (and good luck anyway). I myself have no interest in pulling over and inviting a stray dog into my car. I'm not interested in being bitten, picking up Kennel Cough or that new wonderful flu for my dog, fleas, ticks, mange, etc. And that's from a Communicator!
Just because I can communicate with an animal doesn't mean they can't and won't act all irrational on me. You can communicate with humans. If you go into an insane asylum and sometimes chatters at you illogically, is this your inabiliy to communicate?
There is such a thing as insanity. A loose, missing, running-about animal is most times the equivalent of an insane person, mentally. This is NOT being "insensitive": it's a statement of fact. Combine that with their reactivity/tendency to snap, bite, attack, and, the high odds of their carrying or transmitting contagious viruses, bacteria and the like, it is not an attractive proposition for the layman to try and attract them into a car or home when they're first observed. (Working with an animal to gain trust, to feed/water them, to trap/neuter/release perhaps, this type of thing, is DIFFERENT. I'm referring to a loose animal you suddenly see trotting down the road or racing away from you, etc.)
The solution? Know who to call. To find out beforehand, check with the Humane Society, the local "pound", online internet search, the local Shelter(s), Animal Control, pet stores, any vet, the government section of the phone book. - however!  Or just call the police (non-emergency number) and ask them, they'll refer you. Once you know, jot the number down in your address book and/or enter it in your speed dial for the day you may need it. (I have Animal Control and the local Bird Rescue programmed into my cell phone.) And take the time to pull over and make that call with your cell or a pay phone or a store's phone. You may just be the actual person who saves that dog or cat's life and brings incredible blessed relief into a person's (or family's) lives.

 Preventive Measures
Get it done. Just do it. Enough already. It only takes one time of your needing it and kicking yourself that you did not get it done....
..ever see a dog or cat scurrying down the street? What are the odds that they'll ever get back to their owner? IF anyone can catch up with them, IF they have a collar on or still on, IF that collar has up-to-date tags on it, IF the Animal Control guys or "the pound" or whoever does call the number(s) on the tag (I assume they do...)....
...how many pet owners have contacted me and as they're telling me about their pet they mention, We found him by the mall 3 years ago! ..
...it's just difficult to think of someone pulling off recovering someone's lost pet and then no way to contact the owner. All else could fail and still the microchip would work, so it's worthwhile.
Keep the info up-to-date. Keep your microchip information up-to-date! This includes if you move, if you change your regular and/or cell phone numbers, vet, etc.
When you take your pet in for their annual check-up, have the vet scan them to confirm the chip's still working fine. This includes if your vet uses a different company's chip than your pet's, as their scanner should still at least pick up the existence of the chip and inform them which type it is. You can always swing by a different vet, Humane Society or emergency vet at some other time to get the pet scanned with the appropriate scanner to confirm that the information comes up fine.
Generally, one company's chip won't read the other's (with one new exception.. read on...)
The two most commonly used and known Microchip companies are Home Again and Avid. Unfortunately their scanners don't read each other. Home Again can tell that there is an Avid chip but can't read the info. One rescue place might have one type and another vet up the street might have another - etc. This can be limiting when someone finds or brings in a lost or stray pet.
I just found out, though, that there's a new kid on the block whose scanner reads not only its own but also Home Again's and Avid's - quite a breakthrough! Kind of like when they first came out with a way for Macs and PCs to read each other....
It's the resQ (tm), the "universal pet identification system". The following is directly off of their site:

resQTM: A safe and effective pet identification system
for the United States!
The resQTM Pet Tracking System is a safe and convenient ISO (International Organization for Standardization)- compliant microchip system designed to help reunite lost pets and their owners.
resQTM is the first ISO-compliant microchip system for companion animals available in the United States, and utilizes technology recommended by all major pet welfare organizations including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)1.
The resQTM Pet Tracking System represents three advancements in the United States pet identification industry:
 • resQTM uses scanners that read all brands of microchips tested2
 • resQTM uses ISO compliant microchips for companion animals
 • resQTM uses PetLink - a true no-cost pet registration database
For more information visit resq.petparents.com/ or contact your local veterinarian
1      Coalition for Reuniting Pets and Families: Remarks at the APHIS Informational Meeting, March 21, 2006,www.sawanetwork.org/pdf/Coalition Remarks 032106.pdf
2      Third-party test results confirmed that the resQ reader successfully read 200 out of 200 encrypted AVID® microchips, 50 out of 50 un encrypted AVID microchips and 100 out of 100 HomeAgain™ microchips.

Transmitter, GPS
At this time there is no implantable (injectable, like a microchip) GPS for animals. I understand that one is being worked on, if not more.
GPS (Global Positioning System)
Research the latest availabilty of GPS for your pet(s). How cool is that? Rover runs off and you can find out exactly where he is located. Bypass all the hooplah, speculation, talking and map dowsing. Just go fetch him. We'll talk to him afterwards. Heck, we can talk to him while he's in your car.
The techology is developing and advancing along. Type   GPS pet   or   GPS dog   or the like into a search engine and see what comes up. Family Circle magazine's April 1, 2008 issue had an article "Finding Fido" which covered GPS (as well as microchips and radio transmitters) and they mentioned the agency globalpetfinder.com. Check them out and see how they work.
Radio Transmitter Collars
Per Family Circle's article, radio transmitter colars come in several sizes with a corresponding receiver. You point the receiver in any direction and it will beep if your pet is nearby. The range is usually 1 to 4 miles, depending on terrain and physical obstacles. They said to try Pettrax or Innotek collars, available at your local pet store.
There wa also a product I read about in Reader's Digest May 2005 issue pg. 126 under "America's 100 Best Innovations". It said the Pet Tracking System "has a collar and a transmitter that emits radio signals picked up by a receiver. Up to one mile range in the country". It refers to this as "perfect for finding cats on the prowl", but the web site states the obvious which is that you can use it for dogs as well.  The web site is http://thecatlocator.com and the email address is sales@thecatlocator.com.
Collar, Harness, Tags, Leash, Blinker 
If you use a collar for your pet, keep it on. If you're taking it off for some reason, make sure the pet's secure taking into account the possibility someone's going to show up out of the blue and open your front door Hi! I'm here! (I've heard this type of thing more than once).
Personalized collars are a great idea. Pet's name and your phone number (including area code!)...most places (catalogs, internet, etc.) carry these.
If you use a harness for your pet, keep it comfortably on. If you're taking it off for some reason - well, see above.
I use both for my cat, and only the harness for my dog. That's me. Danny's collar is personalized, too.
Keep the tags on. Oh, man - don't ask. Almost every single lost pet I hear of doesn't have their collar on with its tags or just a collar with no tags, or they just took it off for bathing time, and..... If you have to think in terms of their tags and that's what keeps their collar or harness on them, so be it. In my case, Fox's tags are on his harness. I've got 2 harnesses and on occasion launder one and the tags are switched immediately. In Danny's case, he's got his tags on his harness and one tag on his collar, as a just-in-case. He's a kitty so I figure the possibility's much higher that he can slink out of one or the other than for my dog Fox.
Both have microchips with up-to-date info.
The tags include: rabies / county tag, AVID (brand) chip's tag, my custom made tag with all telephone numbers (mine, my cell, Mom's) and REWARD mention. They also have my pet's name and my name. There are two schools of thought...some don't wish to put the pet's name since they feel it will up the success rate of someone wanting to steal or keep or whatever, your pet. I choose to look at it like if they can get close enough to read the tag, it'll help establish a rapport with the animal and help them get my baby home to me. The Reward mention might satisfy a greedy person, if that's what they are. Who cares? Give me my pet back! But I look at it as chances are pretty slim that person X will see my dog running around and go, Hmmm, I have to have that dog, and will go on a pursuit which will someone be made easier by the fact that my dog's name is on the tag.
Stealing my dog? That's another story. He is that cute, and I don't leave him unattended.
A good friend bought me a Pet Blinker for my dog Fox. It's the red, white and blue version, made by Flipo (LaSalle, IL) Check out this page (it's got a flashing demo picture - very cool!) Here's the link to a page where they're sold. http://www.arcatapet.com/vendor.cfm?vendnum=402 . Other places may have it as well (e.g.a pet supplies store).
The blinker flashes obnoxiously at night and we both love it. Now, Fox has quite a distaste for ambulence type flashings so I just let him know that he's got his own "special light for safe" (he knows the word "safe") and made sure he had the concept that these lights = safety,  help, assistance etc. He liked that and is proud of his light. His little light's right on there on his harness with the other tags, and is always turned on for his nightly "little walk", even though it's only a couple of minutes because Mommy doesn't walk too well (bad back) - the point being it's on no matter how short of a time he's out at night. It only takes one time of? who knows, something happens with Mommy and he'd be on his own (he's not a "flight risk" himself, but if something rocked the boat, he could conceivably be running around helplessly. It's much easier for someone to see this rapid-motion flasher than not.) (Back to Good Links page, as applicable)
Whatever else
Whatever else you can think of which makes you feel that you've done what you can do. Think "car insurance" - it's there as a just-in-case. There is no idea too "stupid" in protecting your pet. Who cares what "they" think - it ain't their pet.
If you don't 100% trust someone to think of your pet FIRST and ABOVE ALL ELSE, don't let them pet sit (at your place or theirs), walk your dog, etc. unless or until you feel they'll properly "replace" you in this capacity. It only takes one time. Ensure they know that Rover bolts when he sees trucks or squirrels in trees or whatever, because when he bolts out of the blue, it makes no difference how "experienced with dogs" they are, or strong - if that leash loop isn't around their wrist or if an extendable leash's handle isn't practically glued into their firmly clenched fingers, Rover's off and running. That jerk of the leash can catch them off guard just like it does you - and Rover's your dog and you thought you were prepared! Sometimes the jerk of the leash upsets a person and they let go and standing there rubbing it and scowling becomes more important than retrieving your beloved pet.
Also, what do they do if you're not around or home or whatever, and something happens? Do they know who to call? Where the nearest vet and/or emergency facility is? If they've got a cell phone, will they program this local number into it as a just-in-case?

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In my experience, I have found that a pet wants to help. Even if upset, they try their hardest to ease things for their owners. Sometimes they are confused or traumatized. Real life example:  I did in fact contact a cat who had run away and had been missing for a few days.  I zeroed in on her rapidly and was able to pass communication back and forth between her and her owner, but even after quite a lot of conversing, I still had no idea if she was "dead" or "alive" (as I was in communication with a live being), nor precisely where she was (as she did not know where she was so her descriptions were of little use. Remember, a pet can tell me there's a "pink house to the left" but that of course means nothing to me nor necessarily to you, either). Anyway, I let her know what the owner wanted to say, that they missed her and were quite worried etc. From her end, the cat was confused and disoriented, and upset and about a dog who barked at her and the like. She could not answer our obvious concerns about whether or not she was dead or alive - it was to her redundant (I'm talking to her and asking her if she's "alive"!?!?) - and even whether she planning on coming back. She did say that was sorry that her owner was upset and understood why, but could not offer any certainty of return. She just wanted me to tell the owner that she would try to get back. This was her communication, but at least it was offered with great certainty and sincerity.
Now that someone had contacted her and helped her focus on a finite goal - get home - she did indeed get herself home: the next morning she showed up at her house, indeed very confused and upset - and also very much alive and healthy as a full-bodied kitty. I went by the house to "meet" her and was greeted first with big recognition eyes, then got a huge THANK YOU rub and she trotted off, very much the Kitty-Of-The-Walk now that she was home safe and sound! (Testimonial from the owners)

Recently my dog walker told me a story of how one of her clients' dogs ran off. She got wind of this and helped out in the search. The dog was eventually  



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