Losing your pet can be one of the most terrifying and heartbreaking moments in your life. This page has tips and resources for helping to find your pet, and also for what to do if you find a lost pet. Please consider microchipping your pet! The rate for dogs returned to their owners is 22% if they are NOT microchipped, but dogs that are microchipped are reunited with their owners 52% of the time. For cats, the number goes from 2% returned for non-microchipped, and more than 38% returned when microchipped.
If your pet is lost:
- First and foremost, report to animal control.
- Post on Lost & Found Dogs-NC.
- Make flyers, post around area last seen, including local businesses & shelters.
- Set out worn clothing, blankets, toys, used litter box and some smelly food around perimeter of place last seen. Even grilling out some yummy food has been proven to work.
- Consider going door to door around area last seen in case someone saw something or saw your pet.
- If chipped, called company and alert them of your missing pet.
- Scour Craigslist, NextDoor and other “selling” sites. Many people don’t understand the law (which is you must report a found animal to animal control, and there is a minimum holding time for strays) so they immediately post to give animal away when found. Many pets are being stolen to flip for profit so make sure to check sale ads etc.
- Physically check shelters as many of their sites are not up to date, and also because an intake photo of an animal at the shelter can look vastly different than what you are used to, and you could easily overlook your pet.
If you find a lost pet:
- Take the animal to the shelter or a vet to check for a microchip.
- Report to animal control (you do not have to turn the animal in to the shelter, but you must let them know you found an animal)
- Post on various lost and found sites, selling sites, and social media (see above)
- Require proof of ownership. If the person claiming the animal can not provide proof, and you feel that the animal is not actually theirs, you may want to contact an animal welfare agency to ask for assistance.
- Have a plan if you can not locate the animal’s owner. Are you willing to keep the pet? If not, how much time and effort can you dedicate to trying to rehome the pet? HATS can help with networking and sharing, but we can not take animals since we are not a rescue.