Losing your pet is a very overwhelming and scary experience. We have developed this comprehensive Lost Pet Action Plan to help you get your pet home as quickly as possible.
CALL - VISIT - REPORT TO ALL SHELTERS & ANIMAL SERVICES
Animal services and shelters are often the first place people call when they have found a stray pet in their neighborhood. Call or email all local agencies and report your lost pet. Give them all the current information about your pet – color of collar, any tags on the collar, if chipped, spayed or neutered, pictures, breed, etc. Send shelters a flyer in case someone may have picked up your pet and brought it to a different location.
NOTIFY MICROCHIP COMPANY
If your pet is microchipped, contact the microchip company to make sure your pet’s registration is up-to-date with current phone numbers and contact information. Many people do not realize that after a year, the chip information most likely will be expired.
CALL LOCAL VETS
People will often take lost pets to a local vet, especially one that is injured. Vets will scan for microchips and contact you. That is why it is imperative to have your microchip information up to date. Call all nearby vets to see if anyone reported finding your pet.
ASK NEIGHBORS TO HELP
Have your neighbors check their yard, under porches, garages, crawl spaces, sheds, under boat docks, window wells, barns, broken down cars, and chicken coops. Remember to ask permission before going on their property.
This is the #1 way most pets are reunited with their owners. This is the most important step in the search process. Flyers should be kept simple and readable with a good phone number. Put in plastic sheet protectors with the opening at the bottom (so rain doesn't ruin it) and be sure to staple in all four corners. Post it facing the direction of traffic. Give copies of your flyer to people that walk their dogs in the area. Dogs walking on leashes notice movement that people don’t. Staple or tape your flyer to a neon poster board with LARGE writing underneath. List only basic details with big BOLD letters. Intersection signs are highly visible, easier to read than flyers and are known to generate sightings. Make them GIANT so that people driving by cannot miss them. Make them FLUORESCENT so that the color attracts the attention of everyone. Put them at major intersections near where you lost your pet.
ALERT MAIL CARRIES, UPS & FEDEX DRIVERS, CROSSING GUARDS, & TRASH REMOVAL
Alert any of these people and give them flyers and contact information. They are traveling all around the areas and may see your pet. *Remember do not put flyers inside mailboxes. It is a federal offense.* You can, however, tape them to the side of your mailbox. Or rubber band them to the mailbox flag.
STAY CONNECTED ONLINE
POST TO FACEBOOK
There are several Lost/Found Pet groups dedicated to helping pet parents in local areas. Post a picture and description to Lost/Found Pets of Cortland County, Lost & Found Pets of Cortland, Lost Cats of the Finger Lakes, Lost & Found Pets of Chemung County, and Tompkins County Lost & Found Pets.
POST TO CRAIGSLIST
Post under the PET and LOST & FOUND sections. Click on "Post to Classifieds" in the upper left-hand corner. Then click "Community". Next, choose "Lost & Found". Fill in the form with as many details as possible.
POST TO NEXTDOOR.COM
Nextdoor.com is a local neighborhood community web page and there is also an app. Many people who are not on Facebook post to Nextdoor.com.