Lost a Pet

The leash breaks. The gate is left open. Your pet is gone and you aren’t quite sure what to do. The first thing to remember is not to panic. There are lots of things you can do to get your pet back where he belongs — at home with you.

If you have lost a pet, follow these steps:
  1. Contact local animal control and animal shelters closest to where your pet was last seen
    • Provide a recent photo and give a detailed description of your pet’s sex, age, weight, breed, color, and any special markings. Provide a phone number for people to contact you if they find your pet.

      Fill out a Lost Pet Report

    • Ask how often you should call back to update your report (For example, at Great Plains SPCA, lost reports are cleared from our database after 30 days).
    • Notify the police if you believe your pet was stolen.
  2. Search the area where your pet was last seen
    • Drive or walk through the area several times per day. Post flyers with your pet’s description and a recent photo in the area and hand out to neighbors and postal workers.
    • Leave a piece of clothing or a crate that smells like your home in the area where your pet was last seen. Your pet is most likely scared and looking for you. If they smell something familiar, they will be more likely to find you.
    • If your pet has a microchip, verify that the company has your current contact information.
  3. Advertise
    • Post flyers at local grocery stores, coffee shops, veterinary offices, pet supply stores, and other public places around where your pet was last seen.
    • Place an ad in the newspaper. They are often free.
  4. Use the Internet
    • Fill out a Lost Pet Registry Lost Pet Report and search the “lost and found” reports as well.
    • Post a photo and description of your pet on local shelter and rescue Facebook pages.
    • Consider using one of these additional lost pet websites:
      Craigslist Lost and Found
      Center for Lost Pets
      Fido Finder
  5. Don’t fall victim to pet recovery scams!
    • If someone calls you claiming to have your pet, ask them to describe your pet in detail before you offer any information. Do not give money to anyone who asks for a payment to return your pet. Of course, if you would like to provide a reward, make sure your pet is safely in your arms before handing over any cash. If you are concerned that the person is not being honest, ask to meet at a public place, like a police station or even your vet’s office.
  6. Most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP! Keep checking back with area shelters and animal control. Pets often find their way home — it can just take awhile.
Tips to ensure a quick recovery of your pet if they were to go missing:
  1. Include your phone number on your pet’s collar and/or tags. It is much easier for a Good Samaritan to contact you if your number is easily accessible.
  2. Get your pet microchipped! A microchip is a tiny, grain-sized chip implanted under your pet’s skin. The painless procedure allows for your pet to be easily identified with a scanner at most vet offices or animal shelters. Great Plains SPCA does microchipping at our Veterinary Care Center in Merriam, KS as well as at our Independence Campus. Make sure you keep the microchip information up-to-date if you change your phone number or address. If you have lost the records, call the clinic or shelter where the chip was implanted to find out which company to call.
  3. Have a “lost pet” flyer saved on your computer with photos, description, and contact information on it so you can quickly print them out and distribute them if your pet goes missing.