Pet owner shares what she learnt from finding her lost dog after nine days

The Telegram group that pet owner Peixuan created to find her dog has now become a support channel for other search efforts for lost pets.

Caleb Lau

Grew up a musician, found a calling in photography and writing. Still in love with all of them.

Published: 13 April 2022, 5:34 PM

On Apr 2, Peixuan Sng, a 29-year-old head of marketing, was headed on a trip to Los Angeles from Singapore with her two dogs Oreo and Toffee. 

Everything was going according to plan until the plane, initially being taxied to the runway, returned to the boarding gate due to a baggage discrepancy. 

On board, Peixuan was then informed by airport staff that Oreo was nowhere to be found, having escaped from the crate it was transported in. 

Getting off the plane, Peixuan began an arduous search for her lost companion over the next nine days, with the help of airport staff and a search group she formed online. 

On Apr 10, Oreo, a black Singapore Special, was finally found within the airport premises and reunited with Peixuan. 

Now a few days after the incident, Peixuan shares with Youthopia some advice from her harrowing experience that other pet owners could benefit from. 

Being equipped for such scenarios

You never know how animals react to stressful situations like this, so it is important to be well-prepared, Peixuan said.

Though Oreo had no close contact with humans for the nine days, which hampered search efforts, an air tag Peixuan had attached to its collar played a key role in the eventual reuniting of the pair.


Though the AirTag went quiet after their last contact on Apr 2, it updated its location on the morning of Apr 10, which revived the search efforts along the airport premises. PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM TELEGRAM


She advised pet owners to weigh their options when choosing the right tracker for their pet.

“For example, a GPS tracker would have been more beneficial in my case, but there is a concern of battery life and cell reception, so I would say, do your research and find out what suits you best,” she said.

For pets with tendencies to run away, she said owners should double up with location tracking devices to aid in such scenarios.

You know your pet best

As the owner of a pet, you may have an inkling of what it will do in such stressful situations. This knowledge can help in the search, said Peixuan. 

In her case, she suspected that Oreo would instinctively hide or make its way back home, as it would usually act when it was not on a leash prior to the incident.

Though she did lose confidence in finding Oreo around the airport’s perimeters in the nine days of search, her instincts held up true at the very end.


With the help of the AirTag’s updated location on Apr 10, Oreo was eventually spotted by volunteers within hours along the fence of the airport compound. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/@PEIXYDONKEY


Peixuan said: “If they go missing for a longer period of time, you may start to doubt yourself on what it might do or not do, but remember those things.

“These characteristics will define how you will go and search your pet.”

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help

On the day that Oreo went missing, Peixuan forwent her overseas trip and spent the afternoon searching within the airport compound, along with Changi Airport’s wildlife team. 

When the search proved futile, she reached out for help through Facebook, posting on community pages like Dogs Singapore

“I was fortunate to have had a lot of people willing to sacrifice their time, to gain tips from other owners, and also get some media attention around it,” Peixuan said. 

With further encouragement from those around her, Peixuan created a Telegram group centralising the search efforts for Oreo, which saw volunteers searching even the beach areas of Changi in the initial days of the search.


Along with posting on Facebook and Instagram, Peixuan put up posters in the Changi area to maximise the search efforts. PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/@PEIXYDONKEY

Keeping motivated in one’s search

Though she considers herself one of the lucky few to have reunited with her pet in a matter of days, Peixuan said that remaining positive throughout the search is important.

The search for one’s missing pet is a stressful experience that takes an emotional and physical toll, and for many who have lost contact with their pet for more than months, the hope is almost lost. 

“Even if the pet passes on, there is still some form of closure in finding it. So if it is still out there, there’s no reason to stop searching,” she said, recounting her thought process during the search. 

Since reuniting with Oreo, the Telegram group of over 900 subscribers to date has converted to a search channel for other owners looking for their missing pets, aptly renamed SUPPORT FOR LOST PETS IN SG.

Feeling grateful for the help she received, Peixuan is happy with the new direction of the Telegram group and hopes it will be “useful to benefit other pet owners”.

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