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Living Mutual: The lost pet

Allen Wastler

Posted on October 01, 2017

Allen Wastler is a former financial journalist with over 30-years of experience, including time at CNBC, CNN, and Knight-Ridder Newspapers.
Close up of "Lost Dog" flyer on a utility pole

A four-pound Chihuahua named Dallas, spooked by fireworks, was returned to her owners after a 24-hour search by fellow RV-owners and the local community…

A small black Labrador called R2D2 ran away after a car wreck. She was found by hikers and returned to its family two weeks later...

Beauticians befriended a stray cat with a can of tuna, took him to the vet, discovered the microchip, and reunited Quassi with its owner after a separation of four years

These are all examples of people, often strangers, helping others with one of life’s more trying, but not uncommon, circumstances: a lost pet.

There are 89.7 million pet dogs and 94.2 million pet cats in the United States, according to 2017 figures from the American Pet Products Association.

But up to 14 percent of dogs and 15 percent of cats get lost at some point during a five-year period, according to survey results from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The good news is that most of those pets, an average of 85 percent, will find their way home. And a good portion of the time, 49 percent for dogs and 30 percent for cats, it was through a community search involving friends and neighbors.

"If it wasn't for them, we would have never got her back,” the owners of Dallas, who was found through the efforts of a Prince Edward Island community, told their local paper.

And it’s not just the pet owners who benefit. Those that find the animal and get it home are gratified as well. 

“We were just happy to return the dog to her home,” one of the hikers who found R2D2 told a local news station.

A lost pet tends to pull people together. And while the mission is unfortunate, the fact that such situations can immediately result in such mutual support represents the kind of interdependence MassMutual believes in. Even if it’s one day, two weeks, or four years later.

Many happy returns Dallas, R2D2, and Quassi.

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