8 Tips to Make a Great Missing Pet Poster

April 5, 2014Allison Murray
8 Tips to Make a Great Missing Pet Poster

Example of how a good missing pet poster should look.

As a pet owner and lover I understand how awful it can be when you lose a pet. You’re frantic and upset and maybe a little bit irrational. And I know why. Pets aren’t just pets anymore. They’re family. For the vast majority of us, gone are the days where the dog stays exclusively out in the yard, or the cat is only allowed to come home to eat on the porch. These days we have special places inside of our homes with pet beds and tasty treats and special toys just to keep our special, furry companions happy.

So I felt absolutely terrible when I lost my sister’s dog. Her name was Brownie and she was a gorgeous chocolate lab that my sister brought up from a pup. She had mange and the shelter was going to put her down but my sister took her, isolated her and gave her medicine and bottles of food until she was all better.

Miss Brownie got away when trying to take her to get spayed. She pulled out of her leash and shot across the street and onto a huge field. Just like that. I walked up and down that stretch of road calling her name for almost 3 hours. And when I got home later that night I did my thing and made up flyers that my sister could hand out or stick on telephone poles.

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And the thing is, they worked. She got a few calls from people trying to help out. But in the end, Brownie was hit by a car. There isn’t much I can do for Brownie now but I can do something for you. Over the years in a family of animal lovers we’ve lost our fair share of pets. The missing pet poster is something that I’ve gotten down pat and I’m sharing the how to here with you.

8 Tips to Make a Great Missing Pet Poster

  1. Use a good picture. If you don’t have a good picture that is going to print clearly, look for one that looks like your pet online. I found this one here. It’s much more important that the type of pet/color of pet is easily recognizable than it actually being YOUR pet. Besides, while there may be sentimental value, I guarantee that if you use a poor pic with poor lighting of your dog snuggled up in the covers on your bed it’s not going to be nearly as visually identifiable and that means your flyer is less effective.
  2. Put the breed on there as big as you can. Shorten it if possible. Instead of Labrador I used LAB. Instead of chocolate I said brown.
  3. Only use the most easily noticeable traits about your pet. Here it says female and brown. There’s no reason to junk up the flyer any more than necessary with the pet’s age, name or personality traits. The less details there are to remember the less a passerby will forget.
  4. After the picture the biggest thing should be your phone number. If you’re not cool with sharing your home or cell number out in the public like this, I’d suggest getting yourself a Google Voice number. You’ll need to use it occasionally to keep it active, but you can have the calls ring through to any other number (home, office, cell) or have any voice messages that come through go to your cell as a text or as an email.
  5. You want to have as much white space as possible. White space is what draws the eye to something, pay attention next time you’re in busy area and you’ll see how our eyes are naturally first drawn to white things.
  6. Don’t use fancy fonts. Go plain, go simple, go black and white. This will make it easy to read even from a moving vehicle.
  7. Print as many in color as you can. I know that they can be expensive but consider running at least a handful in color. Children seem to especially be interested in pictures of animals and the colored images bring them in more easily. I’ve had several times where I got a call with “my daughter/son/niece thinks we have your dog”…
  8. Don’t junk the flyer up. I’m the kind of person that will stop at a sign and read through an entire missing pet flyer. But that’s just because that is the type of person I am. If that pet happens across my property I’m going to get it home if at all possible.

And I hope that you never need this information and that this tutorial is just a waste of your time and that you wish I would have posted a new crochet pattern. But if you’re here because your pet is lost, I’m sorry and know that I’m hoping for the best for you and truly hope you found the information here to be useful.

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