What To Do If You Lose Your Pet

homeless dog

It can be an emotional experience should your beloved furry family member stray away from home. Micro-chipping your pet and making sure they always wear identification tags can help get them back, but it’s imperative to take many other measures to have the best chance at having them return safely.


  • Begin your search the moment you realize your pet is gone. Never wait to see if they’ll come home. 
  • Make posters saying LOST (DOG/CAT) at the top and a recent clear photo of your pet – make sure it’s in color. Include their name, breed, sex, weight, and then your contact information in large print on the bottom. Offer a reward, but don’t state how much. Post them around the area they were lost, in your neighborhood, nearby veterinary clinics, animal shelters, pet supply stores, pet groomers, grocery stores, anywhere you can think of.
  • Print the same picture and information into index card sized handouts and give them to every home in the area, as well as people you encounter. Ask them to check under their cars, in garages, sheds, and their yards, especially at night. Give a card to your mail person, they circle the neighborhood almost daily and may see them on their route.
  • Call all animal shelters and rescues in your city and the surrounding areas. Visit shelters daily if you can, they tend to be very busy and may not realize your pet come in. If you’re in Miami Dade, you can look through animals reported stray or found here.
  • Check in the surrounding area daily. Bring their favorite food and call out their name. Ask family and friends to help in your search. If you or someone sees them, make sure not to run towards them. A lost pet may frighten easily and run away. Get down on their level, talk to them gently and try letting them come to you.
  • Place ads in local newspapers and radio stations. 
  • Use the power of social media. Look for groups of lost and found pets in your area. Many people in these groups are willing to help and will widen your search by sharing information.
  • Post ads online to multiple sites, such as: Fido Finder, Paw Boost, Helping Lost Pets, Center for Lost Pets, Lost Dogs of America, Pet Harbor, Craigslist
  • Be careful of scams. If someone calls claiming to have your pet, ask them to take a photo with their phone and send it to you. If they say they can’t, or request that you send them money first, then it is likely a scam.
  • Don’t lose hope!! A doggy named Kiwi was reunited with her mom after missing for 13 months, and there are many more stories just like hers!


To anyone missing their beloved pet, we hope these tips help get them back home safely to you soon.