Is your Pet Lost?

A lost pet can be a stressful and frightening experience for any pet owner. With 1 in 3 pets going missing in their lifetime, it is crucial to know what to do if this were to happen to you. Immediate action is essential to give you and your pet the best chance of a successful reunion.

What to do immediately after your pet goes missing?

Walk the neighborhood: Take a walk around your immediate neighborhood, retracing any paths familiar to your pet. It’s important to stay calm and focused so that you can keep a sharp eye out for any signs that your pet has been nearby. For a lost dog, it’s a good idea to bring a leash, collar, and a toy that may entice them to come out of hiding. For a lost cat, bringing a blanket or towel you can wrap them up in to carry them home can be helpful. Pay attention to any spaces or areas which may have caused your pet to become startled, like a busy road, versus spaces that may have distracted them, such as a park. If they respond to their name do call out as you go. Also, be sure to speak with any neighbors or passersby who may have seen your pet.

Share your pet’s scent outdoors: As you may know, animals have incredible senses of smell. It can help to place some of your pet’s favorite things near common entryways to your home. Favorite items of theirs like toys, beds, litter boxes (for cats), and blankets can all help spread their scent. Place these items at your main entry door and beside the entry to your yard if you can. This can make it possible for your pet to help find their way home.


Next Steps:

Search for your lost pet on Petco Love Lost: We have partnered with Petco Love Lost to easily help you search for your pet. Petco Love Lost is here to help reunite pets with their families thanks to their free, easy-to-use national database. Upload a picture of your pet and Petco Love Lost will help match lost pets to reported found animals thanks to patented pet facial recognition technology. You can register your pet on Petco Love Lost to do things like create a lost listing to be shared on social media, or to print premade fliers.

Share online: Social Media can be a great place to post about a missing pet. This is a quick way to share with friends, family, and neighbors about a missing pet. There are also community pages you may be able to post in relating to your neighborhood. Don’t forget about resources like the Ring Doorbell neighbors page, or on NextDoor.

Check with local animal services, animal control, and animal shelters: Call to see if your pet may have been brought to one of these locations, or search for more options in your direct neighborhood. At the Cleveland APL, we do not take in any stray dogs. We only take in stray cats. For dogs, the places to look will be based on where your pet was possibly found. In the city of Cleveland, all lost dogs are brought to City Dogs located on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. Outside of Cleveland but in Cuyahoga County, lost dogs are brought to the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter located on Sweet Valley Drive in Valley View. In addition to asking if your pet was brought to these locations, staff can usually file a lost report for you in their own database. Be sure to check if your city has a local animal control facility as well.

Verify that all contact information on your pet’s Microchip is up to date: If your pet has a microchip now is the time to make sure all contact information is up to date. If you adopted your pet from a shelter like the Cleveland APL, the microchip was registered at time of adoption with the information you provided and will be listed on their medical records with the shelter. If you’ve moved, gotten a new phone number, or had any other life changes between that time and now, you should reach out to the microchip company to have your information updated. You can also notify the company that your pet is lost. If you do not know your pet’s microchip number, you can call the shelter or call your vet to see if it is on record with them.
If your pet is not microchipped then certainly look into microchipping as soon as your pet is found. Microchipping your pet is an inexpensive way to help reunite pets and their families, and cannot fall off like collars and tags, and the procedure to insert a microchip is the exact same as a vaccination.


Most of All

Don’t give up! Finding a lost pet can take some time. Continue to check websites that you have posted to, share updates as needed, and check the Petco Love Lost database and local shelters regularly.


To learn more about Petco Love Lost and the resources they have to help reunite pets with their people today.

Petco Love Lost - The free national database that reunites lost pets.