So, you’ve found a lost pet? Great job! The human world, with its’ unforgiving streets and industrialized dangers, is no place for a lost dog or cat. Don’t worry; we’ll help you get that pet home safe and sound. Believe it or not, but many pet owners will even offer a reward for the return of their beloved fur-children!
Now – how to find the owner? Well, there are a few things to check to begin our search.
Is the pet wearing a tag with the owner’s contact information? If so, give them a call! I’m sure they will be grateful you’ve found their pet!
A good set of pet tags will have the owner’s phone number, address, pet’s name and vaccination information.
If the pet is micro chipped, there may be a second tag included displaying that information.
No tags? That’s ok; don’t give up yet! The pet you’ve found may still in fact be micro chipped.
If the lost pet is taken to a veterinarian or shelter, they can scan to see if the pet has had a micro chip implanted. If its’ chip is scanned, that vet or shelter will know exactly who the animal is registered to.
So, consider taking the pet you’ve found in to be scanned for a microchip! If they do indeed have one, you’ve ended your search right there.
Check with Local Shelters
Often, the very first thing owners will do after losing a pet is check with shelters in the area. If no one has dropped off their pet, the shelter in question now has a description of the animal, as well as the owners’ contact information. That being said, if the pet is taken into the shelter, they can now call the owner! If you leave your contact information, they can also relay that if the owner does happen to stop in.
Where are the local shelters in your area? This can be as quick and simple as doing a Google search; ‘animal shelters in ______, ___’.
If none of the above options worked for you and the adorable little lost pet you’ve ‘found’, consider posting flyers in the area. Simply take a good, quality (color) image of the pet you’ve found, and be sure to list the breed and description accompanied with your contact details (phone number, hours available, etc). Post these flyers in public areas that are likely to attract the most attention.
Where do you think the pets’ owner will look? It’s recommended to post flyers around the location you found the pet; chances are the owner likely lives nearby, or neighbors will recognize the pet and know the owner. Consider dropping flyers off at the shelter as well, prior to giving up the pet.
Facebook provides a great many tools to help home lost pets, such as Missing Pets USA or Lost Pet Found Pet and may very well be the best social media outlet for this. However, all of these groups have one thing in common – always post your location and method of contact!
However, it is probably a good idea to do a city specific search. For example, an owner might live with their dog in Lansing, MI. If they were to lose their dog, they might hop on Facebook (after checking with the local shelters and animal control), and plug in either ‘lost pet Lansing’ or ‘found pet Lansing’.
Facebook would then pull up all the recent posts containing those specific keywords (as you can see above, highlighted in blue). You can choose to specify convenient filters (left side of image), or dig a little deeper by searching through ‘Facebook Groups’ for those keywords.
Now, ‘lost pet Lansing’ didn’t pull up any results. However, ‘lost pet Michigan’ pulled up several! Simply request to join these groups, and once you are approved- post an image of the pet you’ve found along with location and contact details.
Search For or Post an Ad on Craigslist
Craigslist is a fantastic avenue to turn to if you want to post (or view) an advertisement for lost or found pets! But first, you will need to know how to use it. No worries! Craigslist is relatively simple to use.
You can search without an account; though posting is free, it will require you establish one. Again, this is extremely simple, and free.
To Search for Ads
If you are trying to search for advertisements of the pet you’ve found, simply select either the ‘lost and found’ or ‘pets’ tabs under community, after selecting your city/location (far right).
To Post an Ad
In order to post an ad, you must first create an account. After selecting ‘my account’ (see above), simply follow the creation steps (below).
Still Can’t Find the Owner?
So, it’s been a few days, and you still can’t locate the owner? Don’t worry, there is an answer.
At this point, it is a good idea to turn the animal over to your local shelter; don’t simply put it out into the streets again. Even if the dog or cat spends the rest of its’ days in that shelter, it is preferable to a traffic fatality, or worse – freezing to death (for those northern areas). And, of course, the pet has a chance at adoption into a loving family who can take care of it.
Unfortunately, many ‘termination’ shelters exist still, as in the animals are put down if not adopted in time. Consider calling ahead and verifying the shelter in question specifically does not terminate their animals.