Finding Your Lost Pet

November 1st, 2015

What You Need to Know

Losing a pet can be a scary experience but the best way to find your pet is to act quickly:

  • Immediately fill out lost report at your nearest shelter and contact other local animal shelters as well. Make sure you provide the best telephone number to reach you any time of the day in case your pet is found. It’s also a good idea to actually go to the shelter and look for your pet as soon as possible. Descriptions provided over the phone may not accurately assist staff in finding your pet if he or she is at the shelter. Thousands of animals pass through area shelters each year so it’s important that you visit in person on a regular basis (even daily) if your pet is lost.
  • Social Media. Add your pet’s information and most recent photo to ‘Lost and Found Pets New Jersey’ – In addition, search nearby counties and towns and post your missing pet on any and all lost and found Facebook pages.
  • Post fliers with a recent photo around the area where your pet was last seen and all around your neighborhood. Place a “lost pet” ad in your neighborhood newspaper.
    Check websites such as Craigslist & Petfinder to look for and post info about your lost pet.
  • Notify your Veterinarian. Lost pets are often taken to the nearest animal hospital, especially if injured.

What You May Need to Reclaim Your Pet   

If you have found your pet at an area shelter or SPCA they know you are very relieved and anxious to take him back to his home.  To reclaim your pet from the shelter, bring as many of these items as you can:

  • Current ID with your name and address (driver’s license; state ID, etc).
  • Photo of your pet along with their current vaccination records.
  • Proof of current dog license if applicable.
  • Proof of ownership (veterinary records, adoption papers, city license).
  • There may be some fees involved in reclaiming your pet, be prepared.

How to Keep Your Pet Safe

  • DO NOT leave your animal unattended for long periods of time.  Many pets become lost because they have been outside in a yard or enclosure and they escape from an unnoticed opening.
    Always be sure your animal is wearing an appropriate collar with an identification tag and your contact information.  If you change your telephone number, make sure you get a new tag for your pet with the updated information!
  • License your dog.  Licensed dogs are much more likely to be reunited with their families – visit your county website to find details on how to license your dog.
  • Microchip your pet. Most veterinarians and shelters can provide this service at a low cost.
  • Secure all outside enclosures where you keep your pet.
  • NEVER walk your dog off leash.

And remember, don’t give up. Many lost animals have found their way back home, even after extended periods of time.