It’s every pet parent’s nightmare: Your dog or cat has gotten loose, and you don’t know where he or
she is. Don’t panic—there are many steps you can take to locate your little one.
Swift action, coupled with major neighborhood networking, will increase the odds of having your
furry friend back in your arms! The key is to get the information out to as many people and places
as you can, so enlist the help of friends and make sure to involve your entire family in the search
As soon as you notice that your pet is missing, talk to your family members or housemates and
ask when they last saw your pet. It’s a good idea to search your home carefully—under beds, in
closets, dark places, small places, behind bulky furniture—in case your pet may be hiding or
sleeping somewhere. Shaking a food dish, treat jar or favorite toy will sometimes lure animals
out of a hiding place.
If you are sure your pet is not in or around the home, take a slow ride or walk around the
neighborhood. Ask friends or neighbors if they’ve seen your animal companion; be sure to bring
along a recent photo to show them. Check under porches and shrubs, and ask neighbors to check
in sheds and garages just in case your pet was accidentally locked in.
Your first calls should be to all the animal control agencies, shelters, and rescue groups in your area;
one of them could have your pet in custody already. Check in with them daily by phone and be sure to
visit the shelter as often as possible. What you call a “Labrador” may not be what they see. Breeds
are easily mistaken for one another, and it’s best that you come in and look for your lost pet…
you'll recognize them much faster than we will! Bring photos of your pet to distribute, lost posters,
or anything else that may help them find your lost loved one.
Send descriptive emails about your lost pet to local friends, colleagues and family members, and
ask them to pass on the info to anyone they can. In addition, don’t forget to use social media! Create
a LOST PET POSTER with information about your lost pet and share it far and wide across all of
your social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc. Don’t forget to ask your friends
to share the Poster with their friends as well. Also, this area, like most places across the country have
local “Lost Pets” Facebook pages where they post information about missing pets. You can even
create your own Facebook page for your lost pet and share that across all of your social networks.
Lost Pets: Dayton & Surrounding Area Facebook page.
Now with your posters in hand (and hopefully, a crew of supportive helpers), it’s time to hit
the streets! Good places to post your flyers may include:
- Dog runs and parks
- Pet supply stores and pet grooming shops
- Veterinary offices
- Various commercial establishments, such as grocery and convenience stores, gas stations,
laundromats, bars, cafes and restaurants.
- Lampposts and trees. Cover extra heavily the areas where you think your pet was lost, as
well as busy commercial and pedestrian sections of your town.
- Around schools, at a child’s eye level. Children can be more observant than adults,
especially when it comes to animals.
**Note, be sure to ask permission before posting your flyers!**
It’s a good idea for all of your animal companions — even indoors-only pets — to always wear a
collar with an ID tag or their license (as required by law). The ID tag should have your name and a
current phone number. If you’ve chosen to microchip your pet, keep in mind that microchips,
ID tags, or licenses are only as good as the information provided. If you’ve moved or changed your
phone number since registering and forgot to submit an update, please do so as soon as you can.
In the State of Ohio, dogs are required to display their license at all times, regardless of if they’re
inside or outside dogs. This license allows for identification of your dog, and in most cases gets the
dog a free ride home! Without a license, your dog can be adopted, sent to rescue, or transferred after
72 hours at the shelter. With a license, the shelter is required to hold the dog for 14 days, and will
contact you to make arrangements to pick up and redeem your animal.
Microchipping is a great way to allow for permanent identification. Most veterinary offices offer
this service, and we do as well! Our chips cost $25.00 and do not require any monthly or yearly fees.
It’s a fantastic way to ensure identification, just in case your dog or cat lose their collar along the way!
This one is important! We know how hard it is to stay positive at times. Use the vast resources you
have available to you, and remember that many lost animals have found their way back home.
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