I Lost My Pet

Search Animal Shelters

The services offered by animal shelters and animal control facilities vary, but all can offer advice. Start by calling animal control and the shelter for the area where the animal was lost. You may have to call the local sheriff or police department to find out which agency handles the area’s stray animals. Ask to file a report. Inquire about the agencies that cover your neighborhood, and ask for suggestions on how to proceed with your search.

Visit the shelters – and do it often. Looking in person is the best way to ensure that you and your pet are reunited. As hard as it may be, ask about records of animals found injured or dead.

Post Signs

Signs are very effective tools for finding lost animals. Make them bold, with key words in large type. A photo or drawing of the animal is a big help. Distribute them door-to-door in the neighborhood where the animal was lost and post them at major intersections and along main streets in the area. Many shelters have “Lost and Found” stations within their facilities where you can post a sign.
Here’s a Lost Pet flyer you can printout and use.

Use the Internet

Several websites provide information for lost and found companion animals:

Offer a Reward

Offering a reward on posters and ads may offer an incentive for people to become involved. Be cautious before giving money to anyone claiming to know the whereabouts of your animal–make sure the person claiming to have your animal really does.

Prevent it from happening again

An ID tag can mean the difference between life and death for a dog or cat. Even “indoor-only” pets need tags. Also consider getting your companion micro-chipped as a way to permanently identify your dog or cat. Microchips cannot come off like a collar and tag, and give you an extra “insurance policy” in case your pet becomes lost again. Most veterinary clinics can microchip and register your companion with a national database service for a one-time fee of under $50.

Check your house and yard to determine how your dog or cat managed to escape, and be sure to correct the problem as soon as possible. Cat Rescue & Adoption Network has information that can help you address behavior issues including how to manage escaping behavior as well as details on how to establish a safe confinement plan.