HOW TO FIND A LOST PET
Thousands of strays are picked up or brought into the Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) every year. Lives could be saved, both in the shelters and on the street, if more were returned to their owners or were held by someone until the owner is found.
Pet owners and people who have found pets may not know to look at PACC and other shelters or how to go about finding their pet. We hope you will spread the message about being thorough when working to reunite pets and their owners.
PLEASE MICROCHIP YOUR PETS!
PLEASE KEEP A COLLAR AND TAG ON YOUR PETS AT ALL TIMES
What to do:
Most people who find a pet will do one or two things to find the owner. So YOU must try to do as many things as possible!
REPORT to local shelters
Call in a lost pet report (and send a picture) and ask if they have received any animals or ‘found’ reports for your pet:
- Humane Society of Southern Arizona at (520) 327-6088
- Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) at (520) 724-7222 ext 3
SEARCH shelter websites
Look at the county shelter (PACC) website where strays at PACC and “found reports” of cats and dogs are posted.
The page links you to the pages on petharbor.com where strays at the shelter will be listed until they are adopted- and found reports are posted for 8 days. These pets will also however be put up for adoption on the following schedule:
strays with no ID are held for 3 days then evaluated/put up for adoption.
strays with an ID are held for 5 days before evaluated/put up for adoption.
Look at Humane Society website where strays are posted.
It is important to visit the shelters to look and see if your pet is there. It is not a totally reliable process to check by phone or count on the websites to be updated.
Keep in mind your pet can arrive at the shelter any time, from days to weeks after going missing. Sometimes people keep an animal for a week or two and post fliers and then bring them to the shelter. It is important to check in person at least every other day and for as long as necessary.
If the shelter has a Lost Pet Bulletin Board, post a photo/flier with picture where/when your pet was lost and as always, your contact info.
Signs and Neighborhood Canvasing
Look for and post signs
Most lost dogs are within one mile of their home and in the care of a well-meaning neighbor, especially if they are small or friendly dogs, they probably didn’t travel very far at all before someone took them in. For more information on lost dog behavior, check this page at Missing Pet Partnership.
Look for fliers and post LARGE BRIGHT signs in the neighborhood or wherever last seen. Signs don’t need to be elaborate – the fewer words the better. Place the sign where someone driving by can read it without slowing down, or at places where they will stop.
Use large lettering, a picture (if possible) in a plastic sleave, date lost, and your contact info: LOST BLACK FEMALE DOG / DATE LOST / PHONE NUMBER. For more detailed recommendations on signage check this page at Missing Pet Partnership.
Fliers (8×11) are helpful to post on local bulletin boards or to hand out. If you decide to post small fliers you can make them with a free template here. A Ziploc bag will weatherproof the flier.
Where to put your signs:
Please be sure to take your signs back down when you find your pet so neighbors will know to help you again if needed!
Tag your car: Your car is a moving billboard. Consider marking your windows with the same information: LOST DOG, where lost, your phone number and tape a photo from inside.
Most cats are nearby within their territory and hiding silently. While signs/fliers may be helpful, it is more likely the cat is hiding and therefore more important that someone search nearby hiding places (inside sheds etc). For more information on lost cat behavior, check this page at Missing Pet Partnership.
Notify your neighbors and search their yards
Personally notify as many people around your home as possible. If done immediately, this is the most effective method. Ask your neighbors if you may search their yard! Especially for cats.
Internet and Social Media
Post and check the ‘lost/found’ AND the ‘pets’ Community, For Sale, and Free sections.
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 / found/rehoming pet(s) in Tucson
Petslist Tucson, Adopt, Re-home, Lost and Found
Lost Cats AZ
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
Nextdoor.com (free and easy to join this neighborhood based social media) and any other neighborhood listserve or yahoo group.
Post and check our local newspaper.
A “lost pet” ad in the paper is free. Review the paper for “found pet” ads.
There are still many people who have never used the internet and may review ads in the paper for lost reports. Also, if the person who found your pet is not in your neighborhood, they won’t see the signs you put up.
Place a free ad in the Tucson Shopper (620-9619). Check ads in the shopper for found pets.
FOR SUGGESTIONS ON CATCHING A PANICKED PET check out this page Missing Pet Partnership