The Search for Missing Pets: How Technology and Intuition Come Together

Losing a beloved pet can be a heart-wrenching experience for any pet owner. The fear and uncertainty that come with not knowing the whereabouts of a furry family member can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are dedicated individuals and groups who go above and beyond to help reunite lost pets with their owners. One such group is the Lanarkshire Trap and Scan Crew, a team of devoted animal lovers who combine technology and intuition in their search for missing pets.

The Lanarkshire Trap and Scan Crew: A Team of Animal Lovers

The Lanarkshire Trap and Scan Crew is a group of volunteers based in Lanarkshire, Scotland, who are passionate about reuniting lost pets with their owners. Comprised of six dedicated individuals, including Linda Kane and her husband Des, the crew invests their own time, money, and the proceeds from community raffles into their mission. Their efforts are fueled by the hope that if their own rescue dog, Lucy, ever went missing, someone would do the same for them.

Technology: A Valuable Tool in the Search

While the crew relies on their intuition and experience when searching for missing pets, they also harness the power of technology to aid their efforts. One of the key technological tools they use is a Ring-style doorbell device. This device, which requires a router, allows them to monitor the surroundings of a pet owner’s home remotely.

Additionally, they utilise a 4G live camera with a SIM card, enabling them to observe and track the movements of lost pets even from a distance. These technological advancements give the crew valuable insights and help them strategise their search effectively.

To stay informed about missing pets in the Lanarkshire area, the crew members monitor various lost pet social media sites. These platforms serve as a valuable resource, as pet owners often post about their missing animals in the hope of receiving assistance. The crew can quickly identify cases that align with their mission and offer their help to distraught pet owners.

The Sixth Sense: Understanding the Psychology of a Lost Pet

Over the years, the Lanarkshire Trap and Scan Crew has developed a sixth sense when it comes to understanding the mindset of a lost pet. They recognise that a pet in distress often sees everyone as a potential threat. This understanding allows them to approach lost animals with patience, empathy, and a non-judgmental attitude. By gaining the trust of the scared and disoriented animals, the crew increases their chances of successfully bringing them to safety.

When a dog goes into “flight mode” and runs off, many pet owners believe that their own voice and familiar whistles will be enough to call their pet back but according to the Lanarkshire Trap and Scan Crew, this is not always the case. They believe that when a dog is in flight mode, their thinking shifts to survival mode, where everyone, including their owners, is seen as a potential threat. To bring a lost dog back, the crew advises owners to stay at home, leave the door open, and avoid shouting or chasing the dog.

The Importance of Microchipping

One of the biggest challenges the crew faces is the lack of microchipping in pets. Microchipping involves implanting a tiny chip under a pet’s skin, which contains their owner’s contact information. If a lost pet is found and scanned for a microchip, it can significantly increase the chances of a reunion with their owner.

Not all pet owners prioritise microchipping, which makes it more difficult for the crew to identify and contact the rightful owners of found pets. They emphasise the importance of microchipping and keeping the contact information up to date to ensure a swift reunion in case of a separation.

The Hunt: Techniques for Locating Lost Pets

When it comes to locating lost pets, the Lanarkshire Trap and Scan Crew employs various techniques that have proven successful over the years. One such technique is the use of thermal imaging cameras. These cameras can detect the heat emitted by a lost dog, even in dense bushes or during nighttime. This technology allows the crew to track the movements of a lost pet and increase their chances of locating them. In addition to thermal imaging, the crew also uses scent-based tactics, such as placing familiar items like blankets or clothing belonging to the owner near the area where the pet was last seen. This helps attract the lost pet and encourages them to stay in the vicinity until they can be safely captured.

Traps: A Last Resort

In some cases, when a lost dog has been on the run for an extended period or is in a weakened state, trapping becomes necessary. The crew uses large traps baited with strong-smelling food, such as sardines or heated hot dogs, to entice the lost dog into the trap.

When the dog steps on the trigger plate inside the crate, the door snaps shut, and a crew member is quickly on hand to scan the animal for a microchip. Once the scanning is complete, the dog is transported to safety and reunited with their owner.

A Dedicated Community: The Power of Collaboration

The Lanarkshire Trap and Scan Crew is not alone in their mission to reunite lost pets with their owners. They frequently collaborate with other organisations and individuals who share their passion for animal welfare. Hazel Elliott, who runs Muzzel Mutts dog searching agency in Livingston, and Liz Milligan, the founder of Ayrshire Drone Dog Rescue, are just a few of the like-minded individuals and groups they work with. The joining of forces allows successful and more efficient chances of finding missing furry friends.