What To Do If You’ve Found A Pet

Don’t assume the animal has been abandoned. It’s very possible the animal on your doorstep has a family who loves him and is searching for him.

Look for identification. A name/identification tag can lead you directly to the owner. Rabies tags and shelter tags also have traceable numbers. If there are no identification tags, consider taking the animal to a veterinarian or shelter that has a microchip scanning device, so they may check for an implanted microchip. Additionally, search the animal for tattoos.

Call your local animal shelters. You may find the phone number in the Yellow Pages under Animal Shelters, the municipal section of the White Pages or by calling your town or city hall.

Give the shelter a full description of the animal. If the owners call looking for their lost pet, the group will have the information on file with which to cross-reference. If you wish to foster the animal, inform the agency of your desire to do so. Most agencies are agreeable to this.

Network and recruit your neighbors for help. Ask them if they know who owns the animal. Place an ad in the “Found Pet” section in your local paper. When placing the ad omit a pertinent piece of information about the animal (i.e., white tip at the end of the tail). This will help you find the correct owner.

You may also wish to ask responders of the ad for the name and phone number of their own veterinarian. Call the veterinarian and verify the information the caller supplies is correct before turning the animal over to the caller. Check the “Lost Pet” ads daily.

Prepare a flyer giving only a physical description of the pet and distribute copies widely on bulletin boards in your neighborhood. As you travel, look for community bulletin boards in shopping centers, libraries, churches, synagogues, or anywhere else you may post a notice of general interest. Additionally, place flyers on the streets at busy intersections (you may first want to check the legality of posting on public property). As you distribute the posters, remember to look for the flyer that the owner himself, may have posted.

An alternative is to turn the animal over to a shelter. His owner may be found or he may be placed for adoption. A lost pet depends on you! Do for this animal what you would want someone to do for your beloved pet!