WHAT TO DO IF YOU FOUND A PET
DURING THIS TIME OF COVID the local shelters are closed or restricting intake to emergencies and people who absolutely cannot hold onto to a found pet for a few days. PLEASE go through the steps below to help reunite the pet with owner- and if after 2 weeks nothing has worked, and you still cannot keep the pet, you can work to re-home post on facebook page: Re-home Arizona Pets and Keep Them Out of Shelters. And ask us about very low cost spay/neuter-an important step before re-homing.
Thousands of strays are picked up or brought into the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) or another shelter every year. Many lives could be saved if more were returned to their owners or were held by someone until it can be claimed by the owner.
Pet owners and people who have found pets may not know to look at PACC for animals brought to the shelter, they may for instance only post and look on Carigslist. We hope you will spread the message about ALL the ways to reunite pets and their owners.
Humane Society of Southern AZ is the shelter that accepts found/stray pets from the Town of Marana and Sahuarita. All other found/stray pets will be accepted at PACC.
PLEASE MICROCHIP YOUR PETS!
PLEASE KEEP A COLLAR AND TAG ON YOU PET AT ALL TIMES!
If you found a lost pet:
Look for ID.
Check for tags or other ID on the collar. With a Pima County license tag, call PACC’s Pet Support Center at (520) 724-7222 and they will give you the owner’s phone number.
ALWAYS have the animal scanned to look for a microchip. Most veterinary clinics, the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), and the Humane Society will do this for free. There is also a free mobile service who will come scan the pet for you: TEXT your full address, name, number and photo of pet to 520-445-0727. LOST PAWS Free Mobile Chip Scanning will respond ASAP. Donations accepted.
Contact local shelters.
If you can keep the animal at your home while searching for the owner, that is the best and safest solution for the animal and will not minimize the chance of reunification if you make the following diligent efforts to find the owner.
Submit a ‘found report’ to the Humane Society (520) 327-6088 (or file online) and PACC (520) 724-7222 (or text FOUND to 833- 552-0591 and instructions will follow) or file online. They can check the lost pet reports and if the owner calls later they will give them your phone number.
Your posts will also appear on their websites. Including a picture is very helpful and recommended. Ideally, use a picture that does not include some unique feature of the animal you would expect the owner to know, in order to verify ownership. For example if the animal had a distinctive collar, take the collar off for the picture and the possible owner can be asked to describe the collar. Don’t include the tail in the picture if it has a unique shape or color or the paws if a different color etc.
Look for and Post Signs
Most pets are found within a mile of their home, especially if they are small and/or friendly dogs. Keep an eye out for lost pet posters. Set up posters close to where you found pet, in spots where people can see them from their cars. And make them LARGE and bright to be noticed.
The fewer words the better, just a photo (see above for suggestions regarding the photo you use) and the following information: FOUND BLACK FEMALE DOG / DATE FOUND / PICTURE / YOUR PHONE NUMBER For more information on making and placing signs check this page of Missing Animal Response Network.
Smaller (8×11) fliers are helpful if you are posting on neighborhood bulletin boards. Create and print a free flier by clicking here.
Canvass the neighborhood
Personally notify as many people around your home as possible. If done immediately, this is the most effective method.
Use the Internet and Social Media
- Post and check the ‘lost/found’ and ‘pets’ Community sections.
- If you have one, post on neighborhood listserv or Yahoo group. Everyone has or can start a neighborhood group on Nextdoor.com
Post and check the lost pet listings at Lost and Found Pets of Pima County
Additional Facebook Pages available (unfortunately people keep starting new pages, making it more difficult for owners to look for and find their pets):
Tucson Lost and Found Pet Support Team
Tucson Lost and Found Animals
Tucson Lost and Found Dogs
Tucson Lost Pet
Tucson, AZ – Lost Dogs, Cats & Pets
Lost & Found Dogs And Cats In Tucson, AZ
Lost Pets in Tucson and Surrounding Area
Lost / found/rehoming pet(s) in Tucson
Lost and Found-Tucson, AZ
Lost Dogs Arizona
(there are several other statewide and national Facebook pages and services as well)
Neighborhood based facebook pages:
Eastside Tucson Lost and Found Pets
Vail/Corona Tucson Area, Lost and Found Pets
Rancho Sahuarita Pet Page
Gladden Farms and Continental Ranch Lost and Found Pets
Oro Valley Lost and Found Pets
Picture Rocks/Avra Valley/Marana lost and found animals
Your local newspaper.
There are still many people who have never used the Internet. These people will be watching the newspaper for a found pet ad and if they do not live in your neighborhood, they won’t have seen the signs you put up.
In Tucson, call (520) 573-4343 to place a FOUND PET ad. The ad is FREE.
What to do when someone responds to your post and says “that’s my dog/cat!”
Request the person provide some evidence it is their pet: send you a picture, send a medical record, identify markings on the animal that were not in the picture you shared (eg describe his tail, or describe markings on left ear, is he neutered? was he wearing a collar?) ,
For suggestions on catching a panicked pet, check this page from Missing Animal Response Network.
For more information on helping a lost pet read Think Lost not Stray from Missing Pet Partnership.