What to Do to Increase Your Pet’s Chances of Being Found in the Event it Becomes Lost
Keep a good quality, current photo of your pet on hand. If your pet has a special “feature” such as a missing limb or eye, spots that are unique shapes, different color eyes be sure to take photos of them as they will help you and others make positive identification of your pet.
Have your pet micro-chipped and register them with the manufacturer of that chip. The two most commonly placed chips are:
Use a collar with identification tags or a collar that has contact information printed right on the collar itself. It is always a good idea to use an identification collar/harness when traveling with your pet. The minimum information on it should include phone numbers to contact you even if you are away from home.
Remember to update your contact information if you move or your phone numbers change.
What to Do if Your Pet is Lost or Separated from You
Using the photos that you have, make flyers that can be distributed right away. Focus on areas close by that have heavy foot traffic and try to place the flyers in the entry area where they will be seen as people come and go. Always ask for permission from store management beforehand, as they often have specific rules about where to place these sorts of items. Here is a list of places to start putting up your flyers:
- Post Offices and grocery stores in the area
- Veterinary clinics and grooming shops
- Pet stores, hardware stores and other high traffic areas
- Go door-to-door in the area where you last saw your pet and leave flyers
- Start with street corners in the surrounding area where your pet was lost. Remember that a scared animal can travel great distances, so also put up flyers for several miles from the point were you last saw your pet.
Contact the local newspaper where your pet was lost. In Albuquerque it is the Journal: 505-823-4444 or 1-800-577-8683, ext 4444, or click here. They offer free lost and found ads both online or called in.
Check the local shelters for your pet in the event they have been turned in. Make sure to ask to check their hospital section if they have one. Due to the fact the shelters are often understaffed and don’t always have the knowledge to identify all breeds of animals, it is important to make regular checks yourself. Here’s a list of area shelters:
- The East Side Shelter is located at 8920 Lomas Blvd NE. Call 311 for lost and found animals or search online.
- The West Side Shelter is located at 11800 Sunset Gardens SW. Call 311 for lost and found animals or search online.
- The Animal Humane Association is located at 615 Virginia St SE. Call 505-255-5523 or look online.
Contact local rescue groups. Often people are reluctant to turn animals over to shelters, but will contact area rescue groups for help. In New Mexico, search Pet Rescue NM for the local rescue groups.
Don’t give up!! Persistence is key!! Often pets are recovered months after being lost.
What to Do If You Find a Lost Animal
Take the lost pet you have found to a veterinary clinic or animal shelter and have them scan it for a microchip. If there is one, contact the manufacturer of that chip. The two most-used manufacturers are: