TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR LOST PET
Losing a pet is a traumatic experience for both you and your pet. Here are some tips to help find lost pets and prevent theft of your pet.
More than 10 million pets are lost and approximately 2 million pets are stolen each year in the United States. However, pet owners can reduce the chances that a pet will be lost or stolen by taking preventative action.
Preventing Pet Loss & Theft
¨ Basic training. Teach your pet recall and not to crash the door when opened. Teach children not to open exit doors until pets are properly secured.
¨ Know where your pets are at all times. Even if you have a fenced yard, someone could leave the gate open or thieves could jump the fence to abduct your pet. Pets have also been know to jump over or dig under fences.
¨ Do not leave pets unattended in public areas or in a car. Criminals will untie a leash or break into a car to abduct a pet. If you cannot bring your pet inside a store with you, leave them safe at home.
¨ Keep your pet on a leash and stay alert. When off leash, pets can easily stray off to explore, putting them at risk of abduction. Always be aware of surroundings and bring your cell phone in case you need to call for help.
¨ Check references for pet and home services. Be sure to check the references for any in-home pet sitters or services, including house cleaners and contractors, before you schedule their services.
¨ Spay and neuter your pets. Pets who are “fixed” are less likely to stray from home. There are also heath benefits such as reducing their risk of cancer.
Collar with ID Tag – Improve the chances of a quick reunion by ensuring your pet is never without a collar and ID tag that includes your pet’s name, current address, and phone number.
Microchip your pets – The microchip helps reunite pets with their owners and helps with proof that the pet is yours. Keep your pet’s microchip contact information handy and contact the chip company immediately to report a lost pet or with any address or phone number changes to keep the information on your pet up-to-date.
Licensing – Most cities require pets to be licensed. Having your pets licensed registers your pet with the city. If lost, the tag helps officials locate you. It also helps with proof of ownership.
Proof of ownership – Keep all documentation that proves you own your pet handy. Documents include adoption papers, licensing documents, veterinary records, and photographs.
We hope that your pet never goes missing. In the event that it should happen, we have put some tips together to help aid in finding a lost pet.
Create Flyers & Post Ads
Make flyers listing the following information:
- Pet’s name, breed, gender, age, color*
Leave out specific identifying details (unique markings or physical attributes) to avoid scam artists
- Area pet was lost (major cross streets & zip code)
- Contact name and phone number
- Include a clear photo of your pet
Put flyers up throughout your neighborhood and surrounding areas, post at nearby retail stores, veterinary offices, and around parks.
Warning – Watch Out for Lost Pet Scams
There are many scammers preying on the heartstrings of pet owners who have lost pets.
Always meet in person to recover your lost pet and never send money or phone verification codes.
(target = Avoid Lost Pet Scams – end of page)
Spread the Word & Search
Tell your friends and neighbors that your pet is lost. They will keep an eye out for your pet and may help to spread the word to additional people they know.
Get a search party together. Friends and neighborhood kids would love to get involved to help find your lost pet. Arm them with flyers to distribute and post on mail boxes.
Post lost pets using Social Media and other online resources. Check daily, as someone may post that they have found your pet.
Visit Local Animal Shelters & Contact Rescues
Your pet may end up at a shelter anytime during the course of being lost, so check all shelters daily. Be sure to register your lost pet with each shelter. Bring your pet’s photo, description, and medical records (shots, spay/neuter) to show proof of ownership. Contact local animal rescue groups, too. They see many lost pets and try to reunite them with owners.
Tips for Your Search
- Start the search near your pet’s last known location, expanding your search area as time passes.
- Think about your pet’s personality and where they may go. Are they explorers, social, shy? Some will end up at a dog park, while others may wander into a neighbors yard looking for a friendly face.
- Bring supplies. Bring a sliplead, leash, collar, treats, favorite toy, water, collapsible bowl, and towel.
- Bring a furry friend. If your pet has a buddy, they can help coax your pet out from hiding.
- When calling out to your pet, call their name, whistle, use noises they know, but avoid sounding panicked or distressed.
- Do not chase your pet. Animals run away when being chased, but they do love to chase you. If your pet likes to play this game, try calling them, sit with your back to them and let them come to you. Placing a few treats around you may help entice your pet to come to you.
The following are sites where lost pets can be posted. Be diligent and carefully check all responses to avoid scams and fraudulent activity. When placing ads, only include essential information and leave out one specific identifying detail. When someone claims they have your pet, they should be able to describe that particular detail. If offering a reward, never send money prior to receiving your pet.
|PawBoost||Register and create a free lost pet flyer on the site. They send email alerts to local members and post on their Facebook page.|
|Finding Rover||Report lost pets and their photos. The site uses facial recognition technology to help identify and match pets to get them home.|
|Fido Finder||Register lost and found dogs on the site.|
|LostMyDoggie||Register and create a free listing of lost pets. They email and fax to local shelters, rescue groups, and veterinarian offices.|
|My Lost Pet Alert||Register and create a free lost pet flyer. They will fax directly to nearby animal shelters, veterinarians, rescues, and other pet-related businesses. They also have upgrade options that include social media ads and alert calls to neighbors.|
|Pet FBI||This non-profit organization offers their free service to report lost pets to their national database and create a flyer using their template. Once a report is posted, you get automatic email alerts about possible matches.|
|Next Door||Post in the Lost and Found section of this neighborhood social network (must join, sign up is free). Be sure to include a clear photo of your pet.|
|Craigslist||Place a free ad and check in the Lost and Found and Pets sections daily.|
|Search local Lost and Found group pages. There are many groups that individuals can join and post lost pets. The large network of animal lovers shares posts, reaching a wider range of people to help.|
LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTERS
|The Animal Foundation||655 N Mojave Rd Las Vegas, NV 89101||702-384-3333|
|Henderson Animal Care and Control||300 E Galleria Dr Henderson, NV 89011||702-267-4970|
|Nevada SPCA||4800 W Dewey Dr Las Vegas, NV 89118||702-873-7722|
|Boulder City Animal Control||810 Yucca Street Boulder City, NV 89005||702-293-9283|
|Desert Haven Animal Society||1511 E Siri Lane Pahrump, NV 89060||775-751-7020|
|City of Mesquite Animal Shelter||795 Hardy Way Mesquite, NV 89027||702-346-5268|
AVOID LOST PET SCAMS
It is unfortunate, but there are many people who are looking to make a profit off of pet owners during their desperate search for their beloved pets. These individuals search lost and found sites to obtain contact information and details about lost pets.
The following information can help you identify and protect yourself from becoming a victim of potential scams.
SCAM TYPE – VERIFICATION CODES
The scammer will text and say that they have found your pet but will not provide detailed information or photos. The scammer will tell you that they are sending you a 6-digit code that you need to send back to them to prove your identity. DO NOT send them this code – they do not have your pet! The scammer is actually going through the Google Voice setup process. They have Google Voice call your number with the code; if provided back to the scammer, they will use it to complete their account setup, using your personal number as the forwarding number, to perpetrate other scams.
SCAM TYPE – PAY ME FIRST
The lost pet owner will receive a call from someone claiming they have the lost pet. This scammer asks that reward money be sent to them before they return the pet. If the owner refuses, the scammer often threatens to hurt the pet in order to pressure the pet owner into sending money. Once the scammer receives money, they are never heard from again.
SCAM TYPE – AIRLINE/SHIPPING TICKETS
The scammer calls claiming they have your lost pet and they are in another state and ask you to send money for a kennel and ticket in order to have the pet shipped back. These scammers do not actually have your pet and you will not hear from them again if you send money.