Every day we hear stories of someone’s family pet being lost or is missing.  We receive faxes almost daily from people looking for their lost cat or dog. Don’t panic. Swift action, coupled with major neighborhood networking, will increase the odds of having your furry friend back in your arms. The key is to get the word out to as many people in as many places as possible, so don’t be shy about enlisting the help of your friends and family in the search efforts.

First, search your property thoroughly. Cats and small dogs can get into some mighty strange places.

Next, walk the neighborhood, talk to everybody, and leave your phone number.

  • Ask everybody if they saw or heard anything unusual in the neighborhood and carefully write down everything they tell you. This could include strange vehicles, work crews, people, or activities. Get detailed descriptions of everything.
  • Don’t travel alone. Take a friend or family member with you.
  • Don’t write down your name or address. Because of scam artists and other criminals in our society, it is never a good idea to publicize this information.
  • Offer a reward, but don’t state the amount.

Make some noise while you walk around the neighborhood! Animals can hear you from great distances.

VISIT your local Animal Control, humane societies, and animal shelters, including the ones in surrounding areas.

It is extremely important to post flyers about your lost pet within a 1-mile radius of where it was lost.

  • Overall, flyers or posters produce more “finds” than anything else. But don’t neglect the rest of the tips!
  • Your budget will determine how many flyers you can afford to post, but the more the better.
  • If possible, it is best to place a color photo of your pet on each flyer.
  • List the date and place your pet was lost, breed of dog or cat, sex, age, weight, color, markings, and your telephone number. Offer a reward, but don’t state the amount.

Remember, identification can be a lifesaver for a lost pet. It’s a good idea for all your animal companions—even indoor-only pets—to always wear a collar with an ID tag that includes your name, current phone number and any relevant contact information. If you’ve chosen to microchip your pet as a means of permanent identification, keep in mind that microchips are only as good as the information provided to the chip’s company. If you’ve moved or changed your phone number since registering your pet’s chip, be sure to submit an update as soon as possible. During the third week of April each year, National ID Your Pet Week is celebrated, which serves as an annual check-in to make sure your pets’ identification information is up to date.