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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Putting a chip in all animals is the best idea but, most chips are put in the skin by the shoulder blades. I recommend this and not in the leg. When most animals are scanned at a shelter we scan the.whole body but, we first scan the back and shoulder blades which is pretty much standard practice to put cbips in this area even if they can migrate.

liz messina

If the phone and internet companies can put apps on phones why can it become a tracking device for the pet chip for the owner to find the animal. Something like a gps? Seems with all the technology available some kind of device should be available to zoom in on a lost animal like the lojack system???

Larry Cable

there is such a device Tagg at http://

Larry Cable

it amazes me how many dogs I see around San Francisco that are not wearing a collar with any form of identification on it ... I recently found a tiny papillion running around in our neighborhood no collar, and after taking it down to the local Animal Control, no microchip either ... I took the dog home for the night ... no one had called in the next day to ACC, so I decided to take the dog in ... as I was driving through my neighborhood I found a couple posting a lost dog poster on a pole ... it was their dog ... I asked them if they had called AAC ... blank stares.

All of my dogs wear collars, with ID tags, and they are ALL microchipped and registered with homeagain ...

these simple precautions can make a lost dog a simple recovery ... use your heads people!


Our dog got out of the yard and we never found him. I posted flyers, went on multiple websites etc. What I went to pass on is that I was driving up to 4 miles away looking for him. I received an email the next day stating that my dog was spotted less than 1/4 mile away almost 5 hours after he went missing. My point is this. Don't assume that they have taken off and are going as fast and as far as they can. Had I spent more time in my own neighborhood I might have gotten him back. I truly hope that this helps someone.

Nancy Nelligan-...

Contact ALL Veternarians in your area/county.


Our dog escaped from the yard several years ago, and, when we hadn't found him by the next day, my mom told the crossing guard who worked the corner near us. She was really sympathetic and told every kid who crossed the street, and it turned out one of them had him! He was miles away, and had crossed several busy streets. We never would have looked or posted fliers there. He had on a tag, but they said he growled at them when they got close, so they were afraid to check it. They just herded him into their garage. So, be sure to tell people in your neighborhood, especially workers who come into contact with a lot of local people, and kids, who talk to a lot of other local kids at school.

lori westman

When our scared dog got out of the fence without any identification I immediately called the police while searching the local area. Because of having no tags on him the family that spotted him and kept him in their garage ( foot was bleeding)also called the police to report the dog so I was able to get the address of where he was right away.

I think too much attention is put on finding a lost pet a new home, and not enough attention on making it easier for the person that finds a lost pet to help find the pet owner. There is one web site dedicated to doing just that.

A good identification system would provide a variety of options to the pet owner, to help their pet find it’s way home, as soon as possible.

Expecting someone to hunt for a hidden ID is ridiculous. Your pet’s ID should be clearly visible, with easy instructions for the person that finds your pet. A quality identification service will direct your pet back to you, before it ends up in some shelter that has a vacancy, where your pet could be routed to a new home or worse.

If you want quality identification for your pet; Google Pet*iD Short Cut Home. Pet*iD SCH is what a Pet Registry should be! You can even have a free color MISSING pet poster in your hands within five minutes, and it is smart phone friendly too. Go to and you will see much more.

The most common Internet search phrase used by people that find lost pets is, pet identification or pet id.


I have volunteered with a local animal rescue for 12 years. Almost every lost/found animal inquiry we have had is an animal without a collar or with a collar and no tags. Always have current contact info on readable tags on your pets. Even cats that do not go outside need tags in case they do go outside and run off. If you have bathed your dog, put its collar back on. 90% of lost dogs reported to us is someone who just bathed their dog or just came from the groomer. Unfortunately a lot of people do not know to take an animal to check for a microchip or to call animal control if they have a rabies tag (they can track the owner through it). We always try to council people on how to find the owner before surrendering an animal. But if you have lost your animal you have to be aggressive in your search and posts. There are many lost pets pages on Facebook. A local one is Lost Pets of Baton Rouge. You post a lost/found pet and an admin shares the photo and description. Everyone shares it. It can get the word around town really quickly and they have had a lot of success with it.