What to do if Your Pet is Missing

It’s a horrible feeling, not knowing where your pet is- we understand that it is a very traumatic time. There are many things you can do to look for your pet, which you should do as soon as you notice your pet is missing.

  • Thoroughly check your house for your pet, down to every nook and cranny. Look behind closed doors, in closets and behind furniture. Check with your family members to find out when they last saw the animal.
  • Contact your Animal Control Officer to find out if anyone has reported seeing your animal. If not, leave your A.C.O. with a detailed description of the animal.
  • Call your veterinarian and other clinics in your area and inform them your pet is missing.
  • Let your neighbors know you are missing your pet.
  • Contact your local animal shelter to see if an animal control officer or citizen has brought in your animal. If not, report your cat, dog, or other animal as missing to shelter staff at the Coastal Humane Society.
  • Check in often with CHS staff by phone and update them about your missing animal, and regularly search all the animals posted on our shelter website.
    Browse stray cats at CHS
    Browse stray dogs at CHS
  • Get the word out. Make fliers with your pet’s name, a color, high quality photo of your pet, a detailed physical description of your animal (size, sex, age, color, breed) when and where you last saw him/her, and your contact information. Include any distinguishing physical characteristics about your pet (e.g. “white patch on left rear paw”) and whether or not your pet normally wears a collar.  Make the fliers as clear and easy to read as possible.  Post the fliers in your neighborhood.  The Coastal Humane Society is happy to assist you in generating fliers. Pay us a visit between 12-6pm daily after sending your pet’s photo to frontdesk@coastalhumanesociety.org/.
  • Ask friends, family and neighbors to go out and help you look for your pet. Call for your pet by name in the woods and along streets.
  • Place an ad in your local newspaper.   “Lost ads” are usually free. Post a lost ad on popular websites like facebook and craigslist.com.
  • Don’t give up!  Call us and check our website regularly for signs of your lost pet. Sometimes lost animals show up in shelters months after they disappear.

More lost pet resources and ideas:

Tips on finding a lost pet (ASPCA)
Tips on finding a lost pet (HSUS)