WHAT TO DO IF YOU FOUND A PET
Thousands of strays are picked up or brought into the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) 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.
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.
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.
In Tucson, both the Humane Society (520) 327-6088 and PACC (520) 724-7222 will take found pet reports. They can check the lost pet reports and if the owner calls later they will give them your phone number.
PACC will post the animal on their website for 3 days, and will include a picture if you email them one. Including a picture is very helpful and recommended. Your post will also appear on petharbor.com for 8 days. 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.
Search the lost pet reports on petharbor.com. Reports called in to PACC will be on petharbor,com for 8 days.
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:
Lost & Found Dogs And Cats In Tucson, AZ
Tucson Lost and Found Pets
Tucson Area Lost and Found Animals
Tucson’s pets, lost, found and rehoming
Lost Pets in Tucson and Surrounding Areas
Lost / found/rehoming pet(s) in Tucson
Petslist Tucson, Adopt, Re-home, Lost and Found
Lost Dogs Arizona (there are several other statewide facebook pages as well)
Neighborhood based facebook pages:
Eastside Tucson Lost and Found Pets
Wally’s Group of Lost Dogs (for Eastside/Far East Tucson, Vail, Corona, and Southeast Pima)
Vail/Tucson Area, Lost and Found Pets
Rancho Sahuarita Pet Page
Gladden Farms and Continental Ranch Lost and Found Pets
NW Tucson lost n found fur babies
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.