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! 

More must-read articles in this category:

A better chance of reuniting lost pets http://petpeevesunmasked.com/one-pet-id-isnt-enough

Chip scan 24/7/365 to get a missing pet back home http://petpeevesunmasked.com/take-lost-pets-here-for-microchip-scanning/

Also, if you’d like to read about the safety concerns of domesticated cats that are allowed to roam, please visit https://petpeevesunmasked.com/indoor-outdoor-cat-statistics/

3 thoughts on “LOST PETS SEARCH TIPS

  1. Do you have the same problem as the UK? Vets don’t have to scan and check microchip registration, at a first appointment, which means stolen or missing pets can be sold on or passed on to new owners and never be detected?

  2. Hello Debbie.

    Thank you for your comment. I need to research this further but as far as I have been able to determine, this is not a mandatory procedure in the USA, either. Vets will usually check for a microchip if the person bringing in the dog is evasive and suspected of not being the legitimate owner when being asked basic questions. Another issue, and I hear this time and time again, is when legitimate ownership changes or when the owner and pet move or change their phone number’ and do not update the information recorded on the chip. They forget to call the chip manufacturer’s data base to update the data.

    By the way, and this is for something I will be writing in the near future, are you familiar with legislation in the UK regarding operating a grooming service or a boarding facility? E.G. if certification of the required skills is compulsory and regulations requiring the inspection of the business, just as if it were a restaurant? I guess I could contact the RSPCA or the PDSA (if it still exists). Any input would be most welcome.



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