Anna Animal-Rescue in illinois/chicago pawboost, we occasionally have a few scammer profiles that are now taking screenshots of old pawboost posts or photos from the internet which match the description a current posting. What they do is comment on the post “is this your cat?” With the photo attached. The owner of the lost pet will respond saying that the picture posted does indeed look like theres, the scammer will then ask them to message them privately. In the end, the scammer will ask for money or giftcards before returning the pet, so that part isnt new. One of the scammer profiles left there profile un-privatized so i saw that they joined many pawboost groups across the states and even in Canada and UK. Hence why i am here now since i see you are a moderator. The common profiles that i have seen doing it so far are Jay Dre, Ashly Ray, Andrew Harriet.
Poor thing! He may be closer than you think! Look in small, dark hiding places - under decks, porches, cars, in bushes, sheds, and crawlspaces. And don't stop at your own house; ask your neighbors if you can look around theirs as well. (Just asking them to keep an eye out won't have them actively getting down and looking under their bushes and decks.) See if anyone's doing any work that might seal off a good hiding place, like if anyone's adding skirting to their porch or locking up a shed after mowing the lawn, and ask to check. Try searching in the evening when the neighborhood is quiet and cats like to be active (like at 3 or 4am, and look for eyes shining in a flashlight), and consider leaving some favorite wet food out (cats will feel compelled to return when hungry and thirsty) and perhaps a dirty article of clothing. DO NOT put the litter box out, it will attract predators and territorial cats that could drive him away! Call local vets and shelters every day and visit in person at least every 3 days. Shelters are full and busy, and even with the best intentions, you may not get a call back, or even be told that they don't have an animal matching your pet's description when they do. (Information at a shelter can become outdated hourly!) If more than a few days go by with no sightings, expand your search radius by posting flyers further away, asking for help in more neighborhood groups, and adding more veterinary clinics and shelters to your call list. A neighbor recently found her cat 20 minutes/16 miles away. This happens because people who don't like cats will trap them and then abandon them somewhere far away. Best of luck finding your furbaby!!
If you have not done so already:
• File a free initial report with PawBoost(dot)com,
• File reports with several area animal shelters in a wider area (ask how often the report needs to be renewed). If you do not check often and the pet has been at the shelter for more than 10 days, they could rehome the pet (varies by location).
•Check strays and found pets section on animal shelter websites and Facebook pages daily.
• Upload photos to PetcoLoveLost (dot)org for facial recognition software to help match it to photos of found pets
• Make a post on NextDoor & Neighbors by Ring apps (free neighborhood apps), and
• If the pet is a microchipped, check that your contact info is up to date and file a lost pet report with the microchip company.
• Post flyers around the area since some people are not on social media, notify delivery drivers/postal workers who are in the area frequently and ask neighbors to check their Ring cameras and security cameras footage.
⚠️Beware that some scammers may try to contact you pretending to be pet finders or pretending to have found your pet and may ask you to text them, ask you to click a link or ask you for money or ask you to contact them on other social media. There are some legitimate pet trackers, though. Feel free to ask if you’re not sure if they are legitimate. Prayers for a fast reunion!