weimaraner puppy

My Pet Ran Away, What Do I Do?

One of the scariest situations anyone can face is a missing pet.

The good news is, when a pet runs away, they seldom go very far – which makes it more likely to reunite with them. According to a 2012 study, 59% of lost cats and 20% of lost dogs return home on their own after being lost. But there are always additional steps you can take to help ensure a happy reunion.

Lure Them Back with Scent

Both cats and dogs have highly developed senses of smell and direction. For dogs, consider putting something with your scent on it outside near where you think it got out. For cats, putting their litter box outside may be your best course of action. Even if the litter box has just been cleaned, your cat may still recognize the scent and come back to it.

Get Their Picture Out

Social media has become a great tool for reuniting lost pets with their owners. Post on community Facebook groups, and share it among your own network of friends to help spread the word organically.

Much like flyers (which you can also print and post in your area), your social post should include at least one photo of your pet, their name, gender, any identifying features, when and where they went missing, and your contact information.

Take a Walk

Most lost pets tend to stay close to home, so walking around your own neighborhood is a great place to begin your search. Try calling their name, and carry their food with you. According to the aforementioned study, searching the neighborhood was the most successful way to locate a lost dog (49%), and the second most successful way to reunite with a lost cat (30%).

Don’t become discouraged if your missing pet doesn’t immediately appear. A scared cat or dog may not move or even make a sound out of fear of predators, so it’s important to have patience and keep trying.

Check Local Shelters

When a stray animal is brought in to an animal shelter or city animal control, they are placed on a “stray hold”. These hold times vary by state so it’s best to know the laws regarding lost and found pets in your area. If your pet is left unclaimed after the stray hold period, it will be put up for adoption as long as it is in good health.

The Importance of Microchipping

The best way to avoid your pet getting lost is to do everything you can to prevent it. Still, accidents can happen.

Fortunately, pet owners now have affordable access to microchip technology. The concept may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but it is the equivalent of your pet wearing a tag and collar that can never come off.

The procedure only takes a minute and is often done during the pets spay or neuter procedure. During the surgery, a tiny microchip with your contact information is implanted anywhere from the neck to between the shoulder blades of the animal. The microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice and shouldn’t cause your pet any discomfort.

If your pet ever goes missing and is later scanned for a microchip, your information will be made available to the veterinary office and an attempt will be made to contact you with the information from the chip. (So make sure that you keep your contact information with them up to date.)

A Lifetime Commitment

When adopting any animal, it’s important to understand that you are committing to keeping your new pet happy and healthy until the end of their days.

Pet ownership can be expensive, and an unexpected illness or injury to them can be a financial drain. To help offset these costs, many businesses are teaming up with pet insurance carriers to offer discounts on coverage to members.

mother with toddler daughter visiting smiling doctor

2019 ‘Pay or Play’ Affordability Percentage Set at 9.86%

Percentage Up from 2018

Under the employer shared responsibility (“pay or play”) provisions of the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers—generally those who had 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees)—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer affordable coverage that provides minimum value to their full-time employees and their dependents. For plan years beginning in 2019, the Internal Revenue Service has announced that coverage will generally be considered affordable if the employee’s required contribution for the lowest cost self-only health plan offered is 9.86% or less of his or her household income for the taxable year. For plan years beginning in 2018, the applicable percentage is 9.56%.

Given that employers are unlikely to know an employee’s household income, they may use a number of safe harbors to determine affordability, including reliance on Form W-2 wages.

Check out our Affordability & Minimum Value page for additional details.

business people walking around crowded office space

Planning for Workplace Emergencies

You may not expect an emergency or natural disaster to occur in the workplace, but it is important to be prepared because dangerous situations can strike at any time and with little or no warning. OSHA regulations require that almost every business develop an emergency action plan. Having an emergency action plan in place is key to preventing a disorganized evacuation or emergency response that could result in confusion, injury, and property damage.

What is a Workplace Emergency?

A workplace emergency is an unforeseen situation that threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts or shuts down your operations; or causes physical or environmental damage. Emergencies may be natural or manmade and include the following:

  • Floods
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Fires
  • Toxic gas releases
  • Chemical spills
  • Radiological accidents
  • Explosions
  • Civil disturbances, and
  • Workplace violence resulting in bodily harm and trauma

Protecting Your Employees and Your Business

The best way to protect your employees and your business from a natural disaster or other dangerous situation is to prepare to respond to an emergency before it happens. Few people can think clearly and logically in a crisis, so it is important to do so in advance, when you have time to be thorough.

Brainstorm the worst-case scenarios. Ask yourself what you would do if the worst happened. What if a fire broke out in your boiler room? Or a hurricane hit your building head-on?  Once you have identified potential emergencies, consider how they would affect you and your workers and how you would respond.

How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies

OSHA and the Department of Labor have developed a very useful guide called How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies that can help you protect your company in the case of an emergency or natural disaster. The following links contain additional information that may be helpful in developing an emergency action plan and in taking other steps to keep your company and employees safe.

Guidance for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care and Social Service Workers