"Hey, have you seen the cat?" "No, he didn't get out when you took our the trash, did he?"

All of a sudden, Nate looked absolutely panicked and started combing the apartment room by room looking for Dakota on Sunday afternoon.  Our cat is primarily an indoor cat, with the exception of us letting him out to sunbathe on our second floor patio.  That doesn't mean he doesn't try to become an escape artist every time we open the front door.

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

This time around, he didn't get out.  I found him napping under our sofa and was so thankful.  I didn't want to go through the sheer panic I felt the night he went missing when he was just one year old.  My friend and I had gotten home from Downtown and as we stumbled into the apartment, I didn't see him sneak out the front door. I had no idea that he was missing until the next morning when I woke up without him sitting on top of me in bed.  Thinking he may have been hiding, I pulled out a bag of cat food and when no cat came running, I freaked. He wasn't in the apartment at all.

So what did I do? Stick his picture on all of my social media sites and begged people to help me search the area around my apartment.  Several of our listeners showed up to help me search nearby Municipal Park and the other complexes around mine. Just as I was about to give up hope, I heard a meow coming from the breezeway on the staircase next to my building.  The little brat actually tried to come home but misjudged which staircase to run up.  I found him sitting in a flowerpot next door. I got lucky.

Michelle Heart, Townsquare Media

I hope you never have to feel that sort of panic with your pets, but if you do...did you know there's an incredible resource to bring your furry friend home on Facebook? There's a group called "Lost & Found Pets of Boise, ID" that's monitored by a website/app called PawBoost.  If your pet goes missing, you upload their photo, name, the area they were last seen and your contact information to the website. PawBoost sends out an e-mail alert to everyone in the Treasure Valley who signed up for the service as well as local vets/shelters that are part of their network. They also post in the Facebook group.  If you want to reach more people outside of the group, PawBoost can help you with a locally-targeted PawBoost alert.

Think about it.  If you've only got a couple hundred Facebook friends, not many people may see a single post on your page like the one I made when Dakota went missing.  Being part of this group/app gets your message out to almost 35,000 extra sets of eyes who may find your pet.  PawBoost will even mock-up a lost pet poster for you that you can print out and hang up in your area.

In addition to this group and app, here are some additional resources that could bring your fur-ever friend home:

  • West Valley Humane Society (Caldwell): 208-455-5920
  • Idaho Humane Society (Boise): 208-342-3508
  • Simply Cats (Boise): 208-343-7177
  • Meridian Valley Humane Society: 208-794-0944
  • Mountain Home Animal Shelter: 208-587-2111
  • City of Star Veterinary Clinic: 208-286-0440
  • Conrad Strays (Middleton): 208-585-9665

Don't forget to check the lost/found section of Craigslist as well!