A microchip can be scanned at any time, day or night
If you find a lost pet, take it immediately to be scanned for a microchip. Photo curtesy of Big Creek Veterinarian Hospital, Ontario, Canada

If you see a dog or a cat hiding or roaming, with no visible ID, it just may have a chip. Remember, you can always take lost pets here for microchip scanning in the hopes that its owner can be located. 

Of course, this all depends if the animal in question is friendly enough so that you can transport it somewhere to find out if it is chipped. In the event that a microchip is found, hopefully the pet, owner and veterinary information is current. And, if that is the case, then a happy reunion is much more likely.

Around The Clock

Let us suppose you found the pet late in the day, or at night, after normal office hours. I see so many people posting online that they picked up a lost pet, but it’s late, and they are going to take it to a vet’s office first thing in the morning. Please don’t wait. Every hour that passes is time wasted. An owner, a family, is desperately searching for their furry companion. But where to go?

Where To Take Lost Pets For Microchip Scanning

Here is a list of places that will scan for a microchip, and they do not charge for this service. There is always somewhere open at any time of the day or night, at weekends and on holidays.

1. A veterinary clinic, open during official office hours.

2. Banfield Animal Hospital, located inside all PetSmart stores, which has longer hours of operation than your   normal veterinary clinic. 

3. Other pet store chains also provide this service.

4. An emergency animal clinic. They are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, during the hours your usual veterinary clinic is not.

5. Your local privately-run animal rescue organization as well as the municipal shelter (also known as a pound).

Try To Avoid Municipal Shelters

Please take note that once you surrender a lost pet to the municipal shelter, the animal’s future will be uncertain. The pound is supposed to comply with a mandatory hold for a certain number of days in order to give the animal’s owner time to claim it. If it is not claimed within that time period, they can put it up for adoption. 

One Of My Pet Peeves

Unfortunately, there are reports every single day of pounds across the country that do not put a pet’s welfare first. They ignore these “hold” laws and have even put the animal down within hours of it being dropped off. Sadly, in other instances, it may be destroyed, even if it has a medical problem that is treatable and does not exhibit aggressive behavior.

A Pep Talk To Remember 

My tip for today: be responsible and do everything in your power to keep your pet(s) safe…not sometimes, not most of the time, but ALL of the time.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!  


FB page run by local volunteers in Florida has lost pets search tips
FB page run by local volunteers in Florida has lost pets search tips

If your dog or cat ever went missing, would you know these lost pets search tips and be able to implement them without hesitation? This may be a hypothetic question. Or perhaps you’ve had to deal with such an unfortunate experience at some time in the past. In any case, it’s worth knowing the basics that every pet parent should follow when getting the word out that they have lost a companion animal.

Go In Person To Your Local Municipal Shelter

When pets go missing, a member of the public or someone from Animal Services may have already found the dog or cat and taken it to the local municipal shelter. So, please remember to do the following.

  • Go in person and verify if your pet has been surrendered there. Do not rely on making a phone call or looking at their website.
  • Take a recent photo of your pet, a copy of a flyer you may have already printed, and proof of ownership.
  • Check the shelter’s website for postings. However, bear in mind that descriptions are not necessarily accurate and a staff member could have taken a photo that distorts its appearance. 
  • You must visit the shelter personally every two days at the very least, preferably daily. Do not rely solely on the shelter’s website. You are the only person who can truly identify your pet.
  • Each shelter has its own rules and regulations, and hold times at different facilities can vary quite a bit. After a certain number of days, a pet can be put up for adoption or, sadly, it may be put down (destroyed). Typically, kittens, cats and seniors, as well as sick and injured pets, have a very low survival rate.

Flyers Are An Effective Lost Pet Search Tool

  • Immediately print some flyers and put them up in your neighborhood.
  • Make an extra big one and display it in your own yard so people know where the pet lives.

Use The Internet And Social Media

  • Post a description with photo of your missing pet and your contact information. Re-post daily until it is found.
  • Check the section that contains postings of missing pets that are looking for their owners. 

More Lost Pet Search Tips And Tools

Take note of the following options that are highly effective if you are looking for your dog or cat.

  • private, locally-run pet lost and found
  • Craig’s List
  • Facebook
  • Local newspapers, online AND print versions (lost and found ads are usually free)
  • Your Home Owners Association, country club, school, church…

Word Of Mouth

Inform as many people as possible who live or work in your area. that includes veterinarians, emergency vet clinics and privately-run rescue organizations.

Stay Strong And Positive

The volunteers who run a Lost and Found FB page for pets in my area do a wonderful job. They also encourage owners who feel helpless and desperate and are starting to lose hope. They will…

  1. tell you not to despair
  2. encourage you not to give up too soon 
  3. urge you to keep searching actively for at least 8-12 weeks

To Sum Up

Reach out to your neighbors. Communities have a history of working together to help in situations of adversity. Nobody wants to suffer the heartbreak of losing their four-legged family member.

Start a search party the very first weekend. You’ll be amazed how many people will show up to help. And, when pets go missing in your neighborhood, not only will you be better prepared to take action, you’ll also be able to help others.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe! 


Hopefully these two dogs also have microchips since one pet ID isn’t enough to get them back home
Hopefully these two dogs also have microchips since one pet ID isn’t enough to get them back home

Did you know that one pet ID isn’t enough when you face the odds of never being reunited with your dog or cat if it gets lost? Yes, it’s true. Here’s some of the data which will probably shock you.

First it shows that an estimated one in every three pets will go missing at some point in their lifetime. Then it gets worse. Less than 20% of dogs and 2% of cats will ever be reunited with their human family. Did you expect to read this or were you surprised?

Now let’s analyze what steps pet parents can take so that the chances improve.

One Identification Option

The first stop that most “owners” of a new puppy, kitten, adult dog or adult cat make is their local pet supply store. They want a visible identification for their recently acquired companion. So they buy a blank ID tag and use the retailer’s engraving machine. The instructions are really easy to follow. You type in the pet’s name, a contact phone number and anything else of importance.

That, of course, is a start, but what’s better than one pet ID? Two pet IDs! And here’s why. Let me ask all you pet parents this. Does your pet wear its collar and tag all the time? By that I mean all the time it is outdoors AND all the time it is indoors? Possibly not. For that very reason, the point I’m trying to get across is that a dog or a cat can “escape,” run off and go missing from any location, including the home.

A Second Pet ID

As I just mentioned, if your pet has a collar and ID tag but isn’t wearing it, one pet ID isn’t going to be enough to get him home. So now let’s look at microchips and scanning.

In recent years, the practice of microchipping pets has seen a significant surge because of one indisputable fact. Pet guardians now realize they have a far better chance of finding their pet if it has a chip rather than solely relying on one visible ID tag. Collars often get pulled off and tags can become detached. 

Remember, microchip databases can be accessed 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Furthermore, it is usually possible to have a pet scanned at any time by going to an animal hospital during regular office hours. Also, emergency animal clinics are open at night-time, weekends and on holidays.

To Sum Up

Very obvious but often forgotten, it’s important to keep all ID information updated, particularly after moving to a new address.

And, to summarize, be responsible and take precautions. Protect your pet by using BOTH a visible ID AND a microchip ID. Because now we know that one type of identification alone just isn’t enough.

Together, let’s keep our precious pets healthy, happy and safe!