Animal Resource Library » General Articles » Finding Your Lost Pet

Finding Your Lost Pet

Take Precautions

  • License your dog and cat (in areas that require cat licensing).
  • Make sure your pets wear collars with identification and are microchipped with up-to-date information. If a lost pet reaches a shelter, the staff can attempt to notify owners using the best information available.
  • Keep your pets’ rabies vaccinations current.
  • Create a file of your pets’ information in case they go missing. Include license and microchip
    numbers, rabies certificates, and photographs.

When your Pet is Missing

  • Immediately start searching areas in and around your house, yard, and neighborhood for
    several blocks in all directions.
  • Create flyers to post in and around the neighborhood and at local businesses, schools, the
    library, or any public place that will allow you to post a notice. Include a photo, description,
    pet’s name and your phone number or contact info.
  • Enlist the help of your neighbors to help search and spread the word about your lost pets.
    Don’t forget their children and the postal carrier!
  • Visit surrounding animal shelters to look for your pet and speak with staff. Most shelters
    have a “Lost Pets” registry or bulletin board. Check with their record of DOA’s (animals
    dead on arrival).  View a listing of area shelters, here.
  • Run a “Lost Pet” advertisement in the local newspaper’s Classifieds section or neighborhood microsite.
  • Check local newspaper or neighborhood microsite daily for at least two months for announcements of “Found Pets.”
  • spcaLA houses stray animals found in the cities of Culver City, El Segundo, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Lawndale, Lynwood, Manhattan Beach, and West Hollywood. More info and a list of lost pets can be found here:

When You Find a Pet

  • Immediately contact local shelters and report that you have found an animal. As soon as
    you are able, take the animal to the shelter or your veterinarian’s office so they can scan
    for a microchip.
  • Post “Found Pet” flyers in and around the neighborhood you found the pet. Include pet
    description and your contact number or info.
  • Run a “Found Pet” ad in the local newspaper or neighborhood microsite.

Claiming your Pet from a Shelter

  • Present proof of ownership such as license number, rabies certificate, photographs, or
    adoption papers.
  • You may be required to renew expired licenses or rabies certificates.
  • You may have to pay impound and boarding fees.

Keep in Mind
A lost pet can wander the streets for weeks or months and people who find lost pets may keep them for several weeks before taking them to a shelter. Keep searching in the neighborhood, newspapers, animals shelters, etc.