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More Tips for Finding a Lost Pet

More Tips for Finding a Lost Dog


  1. Call all surrounding town police departments and alert them (calling up to six is not a bad idea). Give the breed, size, sex, color, name of your pet and where he or she was lost and last seen. Be sure to give your name and phone number in case your pet is found. If the police department does not ask you what your phone number is, then call back and make sure they have it and understand why. Continue to call each day to check for updates. They won’t look for your pet, however they will pick him or her up if they are seen.
  2. Call all local animal shelters and humane societies to alert them and provide a description of your pet. Be sure to call back daily to check for possible updates. Alert your local or primary veterinarian.
  3. Is your dog or cat microchipped? If so, be sure to call your microchip company and report your pet missing.  When calling, ensure that your contact information on file with the company is correct.
  4. Call all nearby park employees to alert them in case your pet ran into a park.
  5. Make flyers which include:

    -LOST PET announcement including your pet’s picture, name, size, and gender.

    -the date he or she became missing and where and when they were last seen.

    -your phone number and a note saying to call ANYTIME A.S.A.P

    -(optional) a note saying to please try to get the pet if seen

    -a note saying REWARD (but one that does not specify what or how much)

    -a note saying “may be cold and/or hungry”.

    -(optional) note saying “to check your backyards”

    * Your flyer should not look crowded. Type it out, bold important parts and italicize others. Make sure to use a picture that is clear and large enough for people to easily identify your pet *

  6. Make 500 copies to start (The office super-stores are generally inexpensive, ranging $.02 -.05/copy). Don’t be surprised if you end up making more.
  7. Put flyers in the mailboxes of the houses in the area where your pet was last seen. If you receive calls of sightings, extend this to those areas.
  8. Make sure you have an answering machine or voice-mail on at all times. If possible, have someone who can always check it and can get in touch with you if there is a sighting. If possible, have someone who can always respond to these calls. You may have to take a couple days off or rotate days off with someone who can help you.
  9. Put flyers on poles, near mailboxes, bus stops, park benches …anywhere where groups of people frequent.
  10. Put flyers in business windows in the town where your pet was seen and in at least one nearby town. It is likely your pet will travel.
  11. Give flyers to children playing on the streets and to those riding bikes (some have even posted flyers on the front of their bikes!). Children and teenagers may make an adventure out of looking for something. Teenagers will either sympathize or have the extra incentive from the prospect of a reward. Most of all, they tend to spend time outside.
  12. Give flyers to postal employees in the area. Remember, every town is divided into different sections. Every section may have different employees. Try to reach all of them as they are working to give them the flyers and ask them to help. They will have a good chance of spotting lost pets since they tend to be out driving the areas.
  13. Do the same for UPS employees.
  14. Do the same for those employed on construction sites.
  15. Put an announcement and picture in your local newspaper and county newspaper with the same information in the flyers. (They can cost anywhere from $7 – $30)
  16. Walk day and night looking for your dog or cat in the area you think he or she may be. Call him, if he has a favorite toy you can try bringing it along to squeak it. Bring your relatives or friends to help you look. Have a flashlight and most importantly, be safe. Most likely your pet will be out early morning to afternoon and sleeping at night.
  17. Drive your car around looking for your pet. Have others do the same (but make sure someone is always home or available to take telephone calls).
  18. Respond immediately to any phone calls regarding sightings. Some people may call and say they saw the dog or cat “2 hours ago”. Though the pet may have moved on, check that area anyway. It’s a clue to where he/she might be.
  19. Bring pictures of your dog or cat with you (an original, not a copy). If you talk to someone face to face and show them an actual picture, he/she can more easily positively identify your pet. A black and white photocopy is not as accurate.

The best thing to do when your pet is missing is to get the community involved. Tell people, report it to as many relevant organizations as possible and call them daily to check for updates. Purchase an ad in your local paper and put flyers EVERYWHERE. The more people who know who your pet is and what he or she looks like, the greater the chances of someone spotting him and calling you, or picking him up. You may be amazed at how much support you can receive from your community. People may look for your dog or cat on their own, whether you are aware of it or not. There will be times when you feel like you are getting somewhere…and there will be times when you’ll feel like you are looking for a needle in a haystack.  Remember, the important part is always continue searching! Your pet is your family member, don’t give up!

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