Some 5 million family pets are reported missing annually. Based on pet theft reports filed with agencies across the nation it is conservatively estimated that approximately 1.5 to 2 million of these missing family pets are taken forcibly, or by deception, through so-called “Free to Good Home” ads.The rest simply ‘disappear’ for a host of reasons. This week alone in Lamar County 5 dogs have been reported to The Herald-Gazette as missing and/or found.This beautiful dog showed up at a friend’s house on south 341 with his shock collar around his neck. He has to belong to someone.The dog shown at right showed up on south 341 with a shock collar around his neck. Such identification indicates the he is, in fact, a pet of someone and not simply a feral animal. In cooperation with the Dolly Goodpuppy Society, Inc, the rightful owner is being sought. Calls may be directed to HG offices at 770.358.NEWS.A few tips have been offered to keep your pet safe:Dogs should never be left out of sight, even in your own back or front yard.Keep cats indoors. Cats should live indoors only and not free roam outside.If you have kittens, puppies, cats or dogs that you can not keep, never place a “free to good home ad.” You should screen all potential adopters, check their references – including one from a veterinarian, ask them to pay an adoption fee and sign an adoption contract that requires an in-home inspection and follow-up visits.