Your Client's Home Was Broken Into. Now What?
The idea of someone breaking into your home is both jarring and heartbreaking. Now imagine it happens to your client's home while you're cat sitting for them. Scary, right? It's common for people not to know what to do after a break-in happens. That’s why we want to make sure you have the resources to help keep yourself and the kitties safe should you ever find yourself in a situation like this.
If you return to a client’s home and notice there has been a break-in, follow these steps to ensure safety:
- Leave the house immediately because the burglar could still be in the home. Burglars don’t want to be caught and often resort to violence when they are. Do not touch anything on the way out as there may be fingerprints that were left behind.
- Go to a safe place and call 911. Stay there until the police arrive.
- Call the client and inform them what has happened and let them know the police are on the way.
- Once the police arrive, ask them to enter the home with you to locate the cat(s).
- While in the house with the police, document anything broken or missing by taking photos and videos to send to the client.
- Contact Meowtel to inform them about the break-in. Include any pertinent information such as photos/videos, police report number, and the state of the cats.
- If the cats are missing, inform Meowtel and request assistance finding them.
What do you do if the cats escaped?
If the cat(s) is missing, start looking around the area and set up a TNR trap if possible. If you don’t have one, contact local TNR rescues as they may lend you one. In the trap, put the cat’s favorite blanket or bed as well as the cat’s favorite food or treats. Keep the trap near the entrance of the home while you go out and search.
More often than not, cats tend to stay close when they escape. So think like the cat and check within a block or two radius first. Remember that cats like to be able to see everything while staying out of sight. Check high (in trees and rafters) and low (under cars and porches).
Go digital. Post info about the cat as well as your contact info to multiple sites like Facebook, Nextdoor, PawBoost, Twitter, and Instagram. Print and post flyers around the neighborhood with your cell number and a clear photo of the missing cat. Contact local shelters to see if they have any cats that fit the cat’s description. If you are unsure of the shelters in the area, Michelson Found Animals Registry has an easy shelter finder to help. This may seem like overkill but the more awareness, the better.
The cat has been found!
Amazing! Once the cat has been found, alert the owner and then alert Meowtel.
We hope you never encounter a situation like this, but knowing what steps to take is crucial. Your ability to be proactive and calm during an emergency will help your human and cat clients. Always remember, you’re not in it alone! Meowtel is here to assist should the unexpected happen.
Photo by Tucker Good via Unsplash