When You Find a Wandering Pet

Do you know what to do if you find a wandering pet? These guidelines can help reunite a lost pet with their family.

Remember - safety first

Only approach a lost animal if you can do so in a way that keeps the animal, and yourself, safe. And, do not chase them. Lost pets can be disoriented and frightened and may strike at you in fear. Without knowing vaccination history, a bite could cause more than just a minor irritation.

Check identification

Once safely secured, check for tags and a microchip. Don't assume a lack of collar means the pet does not have a home as collars can easily come off. Any veterinarian or shelter can check for and read a microchip if one exists.

Keep an eye out

Look for and post posters or ads in papers. Chuck & Don's is always happy to post info about lost pets on our community bulletin boards, as are most pet places. Social media is also a good place to post or look, especially state-specific lost pets groups on Facebook. Continue checking for some time after finding the pet to allow owners time to place notices.

Connect with a shelter

Shelters are extremely important as they are where most owners go to search for their lost ones. Don't avoid them over concerns of euthanization as they may allow you to foster while awaiting an owner to claim them. Check with your local animal control as well. Remember, you're not only helping a lost animal, but also their owners. A pet is an important family member and they will no doubt be eternally grateful to you for keeping their pet safe.

What if My Pet is Lost?

Kare 11's recent story on finding your lost pet explains that one in three pets will become lost at some point. There's steps you can take now to make a lost pet easier to find.
  • Create a tag for your pet. Include at least one phone number or address, so you can be easily contacted. Tags are inexpensive and are available at all of our Chuck & Don's locations.
  • Microchips gives another layer of identification, as collars can slip off or brake. With a microchip, it's best to keep your information updated directly through the microchip company.
  • If your pet is lost, find the networks in your area. Find Facebook groups that identify lost animals, contact local shelters and animal control, see if local non-profits or rescues help find lost pets, and spread the word through simple "Lost" signs.
  • If your lost pet is micro-chipped, remember to inform the microchip company. Some services send out alerts to other microchipped pet owners and veterinarians in your area and networks.
  • There's always the option to use paid services to help find your pet. Before you sign up, do your research and and remember it can take time to find a lost pet.
For more resources on finding a missing pet, visit Lost Dogs of America.
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