What to do if you have lost an animal?

The key item to remember here is to act IMMEDIATELY!

  1. Contact your local lost/found center(often your local Humane Society) and file a report. Take them a picture of the animal and a description of its markings/scars as detailed in Precautions #1,2,3
  2. Contact your local shelter and file a lost/found report.
  3. Contact your neighboring counties’ shelters and file lost/found reports.
  4. Contact your local newspaper and ask them to run a lost/found article for you. (Most newspapers do this free of charge.)
  5. lost_posterMake flyers and put them in highly visible locations, such as busy intersections, gas stations, etc. Posting flyers solely in your neighborhood will not get your pet back. The most important and most visible items on the flyer should be “LOST DOG/CAT” and your phone number. The biggest mistake people make is to write long detailed descriptions of the animal on the flyer and then scribble the phone number at the bottom. A person should be able to read “LOST DOG 555-1212” from 20 feet away through their dirty windshield while they sit at a stoplight. If they have seen a dog loose, they will call you or they will get out and look closer at the details written in smaller letters “Fifi brown Lab mix Female.”
  6. Physically search for your pet and tell all your neighbors that you are looking for him/her
  7. Now that you have contacted the authorities, set out flyers, told your neighbors and searched your neighborhood for your pet, it is time to physically go to the shelters in your area and look for your pet in person. Bring pictures that you can share with the employees there to reinforce your pet’s description in their minds. *Remember, My White German Shepherd is your Great Pyrenees. Do not trust a shelter employee who sees a hundred animals a day to distinguish your phoned-in description of Fifi from a hole in the wall. You have no idea what condition your pet will be in when it arrives in a shelter.
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