Finding A Lost Pet

The unthinkable has happened.  Your pet is lost and you don’t know what to do.  The first thing that you need to remember is not to panic, then follow these tips that will hopefully bring Fluffy or Fido safely home.

  • Look at the location where your pet was lost and draw a circle on the map to provide yourself with a general area to look.
  • Notify your neighbors and businesses in the area.
  • Social Media is the quickest way to get the word out that your pet is missing.  Post an accurate description, picture, and contact information on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.  There are also pages on Facebook just for lost or found pets in a particular area. 
  • Put up flyers-Don’t crowd the flyer with lots of text.  Be specific.  Post these flyers in high traffic areas such as dog parks, community bulletin boards, grocery stores, etc.  Also pass out flyers to people that frequent the area where your pet is missing-postal workers, delivery people, etc.
  • Email/contact local groomers, pet stores, boarding kennels, and veterinary clinics
  • Post on Craigslist and in the local newspapers.
  • VISIT the local shelter frequently.  Don’t just call or email.  (You may also want to visit shelters in neighboring counties.)
  • The most active times are at dawn and dusk.  Search at all times of the day, but especially these times.
  • If you have a purebred animal, you should contact breed specific rescues.  Sometimes a lost animal will be surrendered to a rescue rather than taking them to a shelter.
  • Don’t give up.

How can you keep from losing your pet?  What precautions can you take in advance to help your pet come home should it become lost?

  • A collar with identification tags is the first line of defense.  If a dog is found without a collar, many people assume that it doesn’t belong to anyone.  A collar should have identification attached and a rabies tag.  (Rabies tag numbers can be traced to the veterinary clinic or shelter where it was issued.) Make sure the id tag’s information is current and easy to read.
  • Neuter/spay your pets.  Unaltered males, especially, tend to wander.
  • Have a good, current photo of your pet.
  • Make sure all windows, fences, doors are secure.  Check fences for gaps and holes.
  • Microchip your pet.  If your pet is microchipped, make sure that your information is current.
  • Be on guard when bringing a new pet home or when traveling to new places with your pet. 
  • Try this new app that uses facial recognition called Finding Rover. (app.findingrover.com.)

(Information for this article provided by Burlington Animal Services, Humane Society of the United States, and Petfinder)