What to Do If You've Lost or Found a Pet

lostWe see it all the time, a dog or cat gets lost and the owners are beside themselves. What can they do to get their pet back? Or maybe you found a very sweet dog who is very friendly making you think they have an owner out there.  Well there are many things you can do!

What do you do if your pet is lost?
  • A good place to start is by making a lost poster with a recent photo and contact info and posting them every where you can. Talk to people and get the word out.
  • Contact local shelters to see if your animal was surrendered within 60 miles. Animals can travel far or get picked up by kind citizens to be brought to the pound. File a missing report asap.
  • Post on lost and found sites such as kijiji, facebook pages for lost and found pets, pet lynx, buy and sell sites. Basically just get the word out asap. We have a list of lost pet resources.
  • Take out a lost ad in the newspaper.
  • If offering a reward be cautious for when people call. Unfortunately far too many people are happy to take advantage of your situation to make money. Ask for them to give a really good description of your animal. If at any time they say “wire me or send me the money right now or you will never see your pet alive” it’s a scam. People will say whatever they can to take your money but they don’t have your pet.
  • Some pet insurance will cover advertising for a lost pet, contact your pet insurance to see if this is the case for you.
  • If you lost your dog while on a walk (he got scared or chased something and got away) leave clothing near the location. Dogs have a great sense of smell and will be comforted by your scent. They will be drawn to it so keep checking back to see if they are there. If it rains replace the clothes with some new ones.
  • If it’s a situation where the animal is very scared you may want to rent a humane trap to see if you could possibly trap them.
What do you do if you find a lost pet?
  • Quickly asses the animal. Are they injured in any way? How is their health? Do they seem to be in good shape? Though health can be very misleading, a well taken care of animal can quickly deteriorate in just a month. But if they are very friendly and love the company of people. It is safe to say they might be owned and someone is really missing them.
  • The best thing you could do is bring them to the local pound in the area you found the animal in. Most animals don’t stray too far from home. There could be a frantic owner calling to see if their pet is in their care. If you are not feeling comfortable with surrendering them some shelters do allow you to foster that animal while filling out a found post. But if you really can’t take them to the shelter try these tips.
  • If there are no collars or visible tattoos bring them to the vet to get checked for a microchip.
  • Post on kijiji, lost and found websites/facebook pages, and pet lynx.
  • You can even make a flyer of the animal to be posted everywhere you can.
  • Be diligent, people might try to say that this animal is theirs when it’s not. Ask them to give key details about the animal. (markings, name, commands). Basically anything to prove that this animal is really theirs and ask open ended questions. For example, don’t ask if their dog has a kink in its tail if it really does, most people will say yes. Instead ask if they can describe the dogs tail, or if it has something unique about it.

Keep your pets safe by keeping them indoors. Don’t let them roam. A good way to prevent the urge to roaming is by getting them fixed. They will have less of an urge to roam the neighborhood.

But we know some animals are great escape artists or get freaked out by storms. Have a breakaway collar on them with up to date tags. Also the safest way to ensure you will get your pet back is by having them microchipped. There are even tag trackers that you can get to pinpoint their exact location.

If at any point your pet becomes lost try to stay calm and do everything you can to bring them back home. If you find a lost animal, never assume that they are strays but are instead loved by someone who is missing them dearly. Do all you can to ensure that if they have a loving home out there desperately searching for them, that you help them reunite.