Lost and Found


As soon as you realize your dog, cat or other pet is lost, take action. The sooner you get started, the greater your chances of recovering your lost pet quickly. The following suggestions highlight many important steps to take.

Social media has become a great way to get the word out fast and to a lot of people. For example if you have a Facebook page start there with a post and a photo of the lost or found pet. If you use local classified ad Facebook pages, post there as well. And ask people to SHARE your post.

Create colorful Lost Pet flyers that stand out. Lost pets are often found within a mile or two of their home. You can utilize this downloadable Lost Pet Flyer in PDF format, with fillable fields (you will need Adobe Reader 5.0+ to view this document). Just fill in the blanks and print on colorful paper–make sure the black text contrasts well with the paper color; you want people to see the words at a distance.

Include a picture of your lost pet, if you have one, as well as a general description of your dog, cat, or other pet and all your telephone numbers displayed in a conspicuous place.

  • You might consider offering a reward (but don’t say how much).

  • DO NOT include your address or your full name, in order to avoid becoming an unwitting victim of fraudulent activity.

  • Post the Lost Pet Flyers in your area — at stores (grocery stores, drug stores, video stores, gas stations and the like), veterinary clinics, groomers, local parks, etc.

  • When posting Lost Pet Flyers at veterinary clinics and groomers’ establishments, take a moment to tell the vet or groomer about your lost pet. If your pet is brought to them in need of medical care, they will have your information available and can contact you.

  • Contact your local police department or sheriff’s department.

  • Search for unusual “hiding” places around your home, including storm drains, ditches, and other dark places. And don’t forget to bring along a flashlight! If your lost pet has been injured, it may have crawled into a small space close to home for safety.

  • Search your neighborhood, and make plenty of noise–call your pet by name, make some other familiar sound, or bring along a favorite squeaky toy to use…but be sure to stop and listen periodically, in case your lost pet makes noises in response (such as whining, barking, meowing).

  • Talk to your mail carrier, UPS, FedEx, or newspaper delivery person, and anyone who is regularly in your neighborhood. Ask them to keep a look out for your lost pet.

  • Tell your neighbors to keep a watchful eye out.

  • Place a “lost pet” classified ad in your local newspaper(s).

Remember: Prepare for a pet’s disappearance – make sure they are wearing identification tags at all times.