5 Ways To ...

5 Ways To Help Lost And Found Pets In My Neighborhood

By Andrea Quarracino | November 30, 2021

Despite best intentions, there are many ways a well-loved pet can become lost. The good news is, there are equally many ways where you can find a pet, beginning with community members looking to help animals in their area. If you've ever wondered: "How can I help lost and found pets near me?", here are a few places to start.

1. Connect With Local Lost And Found Pet Pages

Word spreads fast through social media, and local lost and found pet pages are a great place to tap into what's happening in your community. If you've found a missing cat or dog, visit our lost pet database and found pet database to view lost and found pets in your area, or snap a picture and upload it to our Petco Love Lost database.

Additionally, look for relevant lost and found pet pages on Facebook and reports of lost pet sightings on Nextdoor and Craigslist. Once you understand where pets are missing in your area, you'll be better equipped to help.

2. Organize a Community Search

To help organize a community search for a missing pet:

  1. Start by working with the pet parent and your local animal shelter

  2. Let them know that you want to help gather a group to look for the lost dog or cat.

  3. Be sure that everyone taking part in the search has a strong sense of lost cat and dog behavior, and they're educated on how to respond if they 

    spot the missing pet (staying calm, not calling a lost dog, and so forth).

When you get started, ask everyone to look carefully around the neighborhood, houses, and places where a dog or cat might be most inclined to hide.

"Depending on where the pet went missing, you can always check overgrown or wooded areas where a dog may find shelter to burrow in at night," says Amy-Jo Sites, director for Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control↗. "We have found where owners have left out blankets or other items that have the 'family scent' on it so it can help to guide a dog in the right direction." 

"Don't be afraid to knock on doors either," Sites adds. "It's not uncommon for a well-meaning citizen to think that a pet doesn't have an owner because it didn't have a collar or ID tag, and they bring that lost pet indoors."

If there's a lost pet sighting, be sure to communicate with the pet parent and local animal shelter right away and create a found pet report on Petco Love Lost to spread the word.

3. Make Large Lost Dog and Cat Posters

Wondering how to make a lost pet poster? The most effective, eye-catching posters↗ are big and bright, with brief, easy-to-read wording. Lost cat and dog flyers are helpful for door-to-door or digital (email, social media) distribution, but they're hard to read from a moving vehicle. 

To make your poster, print the most relevant information in dark, bold lettering (think: "Lost Dog, Please Help!") with a phone number and a picture of your pet. Consider holding the poster up in a well-trafficked area to garner even more attention, preferably close to where the pet went missing, or using lawn sign holders to position the posters closer to the road for easy reading.

4. Share a Lost Pet Flyer

Petco Love Lost helps streamline the lost pet flyer process with a downloadable template. After creating your lost pet listing, you'll have the option to share your flyer↗ physically or distribute it digitally through email and social media channels.  

Whether you're sharing on social or in person, a digital flyer can dig into more detail than would be readable on a poster by the side of the road. But at a minimum, a flyer should contain:

  • The pet's photo

  • A brief description

  • How to contact the pet parent

5. Start Searching ASAP

Yes, lost pets can find their way home, and their keen sense of smell can serve them well, but it's best not to wait to see if that happens. The odds of reuniting a pet with their family are much higher if the search begins immediately, as soon as the pet parent realizes their dog or cat is missing. It can take a village to bring a pet back to its pack, and you can help make the difference between lost and found.  


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