When you find a pet, and they are not tagged, the first thing you need to do is bring them to a veterinarian's office to be scanned for a Microchip. You can have a very fast reunion!
Ask to make sure they have a scanner that reads 9, 10 and 15 digit chips. Some scanners only read 15 digit chips which means if the pet has a different brand of microchip with 9 or 10 digits, it won't appear on the scanner. If you do not get results from a scan, check another place that might have an updated, universal scanner.
Click here for tips on scanning a pet for a Microchip.
Post flyers immediately in that area where you found the pet. Leave flyers at all the local veterinarian offices, shelters and rescue groups in the area.
Watch outside your house for slow-moving cars. Ask them if they are looking for a missing pet. We have had many reunions with this method.
If you live in a gated community or have a homeowners association, ask if the association to email an alert to all the residents in your community. If you have a guard, leave them with flyers of your lost pet.
REPORT THE PET TO THE LOCAL POLICE in the area you found them. Many police departments will keep track of lost and found pets in their area. If someone is missing their pet, one of the first things they will do is notify the local authorities. If you can not keep the pet until the owner is found, some police departments have holding runs or shelters for pets and will transfer them to the PROPER LOCAL SHELTER where their families will be looking for them.
NEVER transfer a found pet to a shelter outside of the county where they are found. Most people would not think their pet could end up so far away and this could put the pet at risk of being euthanized!
Don't automatically assume that a pet is abandoned. They could have been lost for a while or have been injured after getting loose from their home. Make sure to do all the proper procedures above before adopting out that pet or surrendering to a rescue group.
We highly recommend a FREE service called LostMyDoggie.Com. This service is also available for Found Pets. They will create a flyer for you and they will also send Email/Fax alerts to local shelters, vets, groomers and rescues in your area within 30 minutes.
Check with dog walkers in the area to see if they recognize the dog. Knock on neighbors doors. Usually the dog lives houses or blocks away. Also contact the local police with a description of the dog and location where found.
Check with neighbors. Cats usually live houses or blocks away from where they are found. Do not be so quick to bring them to a shelter. They could just be temporarily wandering outside of their territory.
Make sure to post your found pet on our Facebook page.
IMPORTANT!!!! Once you have found the pets family, ask for information to verify that you indeed have the rightful owners. Ask for vet records or pictures to prove they are the pets family. If a pet does not respond to them and they can not verify ownership, do not surrender the pet!