Before Your Pet is Lost
To help in locating your pet if they become lost, advance preparation may increase your chances of recovery.
- Always make certain your pet is wearing an ID tag with TWO current phone numbers including area code. (For safety reasons, use only stretch collars for cats.) Make certain with all ID tags to check the tags every few months to see if the information is wearing away. If so replace tags immediately. Many animals at shelters have tags but they are so worn that the tags cannot be read and sadly the owner cannot be contacted.
- Consider a microchip for your pet.
- Always have close-up, full-body color photos of your pet taken from the front and from the side (keep negatives readily available or keep stored on your computer.)
Tips for Finding a Lost Pet
- If your beloved pet strays away from home, it can be a traumatic experience for both you and your pet but you should act immediately. The longer you wait, the farther your pet can travel and the chances increase that it may become injured.
- Post signs at intersections within a 2 mile area of where your pet was lost. In addition, post signs at grocery stores, community centers, pet stores, veterinary offices, churches and apartment complex laundromats.
- Advertise in both local and community newspapers and check thoroughly all columns dealing with animals as well as "Lost and Found" for at least three months.
- Search the neighborhood. Walk, ride a bicycle or drive slowly through your neighborhood several times each day. Whistle a few times, then call your pet's name twice and then carefully 'listen' and look. Do this OFTEN. Your pet may be injured, frightened or trapped and unable to come to you. Hearing your voice may encourage your pet to answer you. After you call his name 2 or 3 times, remain in one place long enough for your pet to find you. A lost pet may hide during the day, so be sure to go out again at night with a flashlight and call for him.
- Ask neighbors, letter carriers and delivery people if they have seen your pet. Print and hand out lost pet sheets with your pet's photo and your phone number.
- Visit all animal shelters and animal-control agencies in addition to calling or e-mailing. File a lost pet report with every shelter in your city. Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet. Check with the shelters every few days. Notify the police if you believe that your pet may have been stolen.
- Contact veterinary clinics both in your area and surrounding areas. An animal could be injured, rescued and taken out of the area in any direction for some distance.
- Leave items with a familiar scent outside your home. A litter box, pet bed or a sweatshirt recently worn by a loved one can attract a pet who has strayed and become disoriented.
- If your animal is a purebred, contact breed rescue groups in your area.
Don't give up your search - even when you have little hope. Animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their families. If you find your pet, make certain to inform all places you contacted and remove flyers. Otherwise, valuable time is wasted which could be used for animals who are still lost.
Houston Area Shelters
Check with local area shelters first - some shelters place animals up for adoption or even euthanize after a few days. In addition to searching local shelters, file a lost pet report with CAP. Your report will be held for 30 days while it is routinely checked against found animals and animals that arrive at CAP. If your pet is still missing after 30 days you can update the report.
Also check out the lost pet resources below to help in your search efforts.
- Citizens for Animal Protection
- Houston Area Animal Shelters
- Houston Chronicle Lost Pets - chron.com/lostpets
- Petco Love Lost
- Pet Finder - petfinder.com
- Pet Club - petclub.org/lost_pets.htm
- Pet Harbor - petharbor.com
- Pets911 - pets911.com
- Craigs List - houston.craigslist.org/laf and houston.craigslist.org/pet
- Find Fido - findfido.com
- The Greensheet - thegreensheet.com
- Houston Community Newspapers - hcnonline.com
- Help Me Find My Pet - helpmefindmypet.com
- Missing pets in Katy - katymissingpets.com
The service provider links are provided for your information - CAP does not endorse or partner with any of these services, nor do we research their effectiveness.
- Fido Finder - fidofinder.com
- Tabby Tracker - tabbytracker.com
- Find Toto - findtoto.com (phone and other services)
- Sherlock Bones - sherlock.com