Finding a Lost Pet

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 10:15am

More pets are lost on the Fourth of July than any other time of year. It’s a heartbreaking scenario for pet parents, but swift action and major networking can increase the odds that you will be reunited with your cat or dog.

We recently surveyed more than 1,000 households with pets across the country to find out if they had lost a dog or cat in the past five years—and if they did, did they find that pet and where did they look?

Of those pet guardians surveyed, 15 percent had lost a dog or a cat in the past five years, and 85 percent of those lost dogs and cats were recovered.

The study's findings suggest the following are key when recovering a lost pet:

  • Searching immediately when one knows the pet is lost;
  • Searching within the neighborhood first through visual searches as well as posters and online; and
  • Checking local shelters from the first day your pet is lost.

If your pet is lost, it’s important not to panic. Enlist the help of all of your friends and neighbors and hit the streets! Read our extended article on Finding a Lost Pet for more information and helpful hints.

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Sandy Bigger

Lost my dog Onyx on 6/26/12 at my home. He is a neutered male black lab approximately 7 to 8 years old. Wearing orange collar with tags. Has Avid chip. Lost in the Wenona, Illinois. If found, please call 815-853-7054 and leave a message. Thank You! SANDY BIGGER


I found my dog within three days of him wandering off my property (he was old, almost blind - something I didn't know at the time & was looking for my daughter - "his baby" - who was visiting her father out of town. Thankfully, I found him on Craigs List after driving through and around my neighborhood with no luck. I also recently found a little dog in the middle of the street at night following someone who wasn't his owner - I opended my car door and in he jumped. He spent the night with us, but was promply reunited with his Very Happy owners the next morn. It works! Also call All the shelters you can ....... Good luck


did you find your awful

Diane Larrieu

I also recommend contacting your local police department immediately. As in other comments, please make sure your pet has ID tags on, if not a name tag and phone number, at least the license and/or rabies tag I have found a number of dogs with only their license tag/rabies tag on, however, they have been returned to the owner via those modalities as well.


Yes! As an animal control officer working through a police department, PLEASE contact us first thing. If you call us the moment you notice your animal missing, we can sometimes get out there to help you search. I've found many missing dogs this way with many tearful happy reunions. I've also picked up many dogs at large who go unclaimed until days later when someone calls to tell me their dog has been missing a week. Call us!


I lost my cat at a remote vet office two years ago a week before the 4th. I was heartbroken but knew the statistics--only about 3% of lost cats get returned. I posted flyers, talked to EVERY neighbor within a mile (about 25), walked the roads, drove further. Checked at houses with other cats/dogs. And offered a reward. Used, used the newspaper, not just called but VISITED each local shelter/sanctuary. And 7 days later a neighbor of the vets called and sure enough Bob came bounding back into my arms. Never give up, it doesn't take all that much time or effort--nothing could ever be too much. You've taken responsibility for a life, make sure you do all you can to save it.


Well done finding your lost kitty! You did a lot of things that Missing Pet Partnership recommends...unless they are chased, many cats do not go far from home, but they will not respond to calls form their owners until they are so hungry and thirsty that they can no longer stand it! And that can be 10-14 days, or longer! Don't give up!

We just created a free iPhone app that lets you update your pet's tag at any time -- even after it's lost! Support us with a quick vote so we can get it into the app store!!

b j Altschul

Another resource is -- free, easy instructions to email/upload a picture via your cell phone. See instructions for both individuals and shelters.


microchipping is so important, but also you should make daily trips to local shelters to see if your pet is there. We have found our local shelter does not always scan for a chip and can give you wrong info about your pet's status if you call. They may have your pet and say they don't. They euthanize after 7 days. Vital to be very proactive.