What to do if you lose your pet
- Walk your neighborhood calling for your pet as soon as you know it is missing.
- Take the pet's favorite toy and treat with you. Leave a blanket, bed, or other large item with your pet's scent on it outside near your front door.
- Take a leash and collar for dogs and a carrier for cats.
- Concentrate your search and flier distribution within a 1/2-mile radius from where the pet was lost. Go door to door.
- Visit each humane society, animal shelter, and animal control department in your area, taking a flier to each. Most city websites have animal control contact information.
- Place an ad in the local paper.
- Place posters throughout your neighborhood with a good description of your pet and a photo. In addition to outdoor posters, place fliers on local grocery store bulletin boards, at restaurants (ask for permission), gas stations, etc.
- Call local vets to see if they have found your pet. Also, many vets have bulletin boards where you can post a flier.
- If in Birmingham, contact our local lost and found expert, Alabama Pet Registry at: www.alabamapetregistry.org.
- Contact a Certified Pet Detective within the first 24 hours. A great one is Tracking Trails, owned by Hope McClure www.trackingtrails.com. Hope conducts consultations using pet profiling in order to create a recovery plan.
- Place an ad in local animal related publications.
- In Birmingham, Alabama, Critter Magazine is a great resource. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Birmingham, forward an e-mail with a photo of the lost pet to email@example.com. Carrie will distribute your email messages to a large database of animal lovers, many of whom will actively help you look for your pet. They will also offer much needed encouragement.
- When making a flier or running an ad in the paper, do not tell every detail about your pet. When someone contacts you saying they have found your pet, ask them to describe the pet in detail and/or email you a photo of the pet. This way, you will not spend valuable time going to see an animal that is not your pet. It will also help you to avoid responding to scammers or pranksters; unfortunately, you may hear from such people telling you they have found your pet and demanding money for its return. If this happens, call the police and tell them about the call, especially if you are told to meet the caller at a particular place with money in hand.
What to do if you find a pet
- Secure the pet in a safe place with food and water. Check to see if the pet needs medical attention.
- If the pet has a collar with a rabies tag, call the vet listed on the tag to get the owner's contact information.
- If there is no collar/tag, or if the rabies tag vet cannot provide owner's contact information, ask a vet to scan to the pet determine if it is microchipped.
- If you are in Birmingham, Alabama, contact Alabama Pet Registry at www.alabamapetregistry.org.
- Run a "found" ad in the classified section of your local paper. Most newspapers do not charge for "found" ads.
- Check your local paper for "lost" ads.
- Check your neighborhood for "lost" posters.
- Contact local vets to determine if they have a client that may be looking for their pet.
- Contact the local Animal Control and Humane Society in your area. Take them a flier or send them an e-mail.
- Of course, making and distributing "found" fliers is helpful. Concentrate your distribution within a 1/2 mile radius of where you found the pet.
- When making a flier or running an ad in the paper, do not tell every detail about the pet. When someone contacts you to claim the pet, ask them to provide you with details, show you a photo of the pet or provide vet records. You want to be certain the pet is going to the rightful owner.
- In Birmingham, send an e-mail flier of the pet to: firstname.lastname@example.org, asking Carrie to send your e-mail to her large database of animal lovers.
How Not To Lose Your Pet
- Cats - Keep indoors all the time.
- Dogs - Keep indoors unless walked on a leash or within a safe fenced yard.
- Dogs & Cats - Spay/neuter at 6 months old so they will not want to stray from home.
- Provide lots of food, water, love, and fun so they will be happy to stay at home.
- Keep a current photo of all pets. This is useful for creating flyers if necessary and asking people if they have seen your pet.
- Microchip your pets. For more information see: www.avidmicrochip.com or ask your veterinarian
- Register with Alabama Pet Registry
- When your pet rides in the car, be sure it cannot jump out a window. Always put a cat in a carrier.
- Do not endanger a dog by placing it in the bed of a truck.
- If you move to a new home, e-mail us for special things to do. Keep your pet behind a closed door so it cannot accidentally get lost in a strange neighborhood.
- Alabama Pet Registry
Alabama Pet Registry, Inc. is an all-volunteer, not-for-profit, lost and found pet services organization that acts as a clearinghouse for those who have lost or found pets anywhere in Alabama. They are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day to personally provide information, advice and guidance regarding what to do if you have lost a pet or what to do if you find a pet.
If you've lost or found a pet, please contact Dennis McDonough at
FAX (205) 967-7831