What To Do if You've Found a Pet
Thank you for taking in this lost pet - you are a hero and you can ensure the pet finds a safe haven. Here are the steps you should take immediately to improve the found pet’s chances of returning home: MOST IMPORTANT: Many people will wait a day or two to post anything anywhere. We hear, “He’s always come home before” an awful lot. It also takes two days to get the free ad in the paper. Please give this lost soul a good fighting chance before giving up.
Most lost pets are found within one mile of their home. Make signs! These don’t need to be elaborate-- don’t bother with the age, or the dog’s personality - the fewer words the better. You want a sign that someone driving by can read without slowing down.
FOUND BLACK FEMALE DOG / THE DATE FOUND / MY PHONE NUMBER
That’s all the information a person needs. There probably aren’t so many lost black dogs in your neighborhood that you need to elaborate.
All neighborhoods have entrance and exit points. Put a sign at each entrance/exit to your neighborhood and those of adjoining neighborhoods. Everyone will see these signs as they go to work/school. Make it easy on the lost family by getting your information out where they can see it. When I find a pet, I put at least FIFTY signs out within the first twenty-four hours.
(Be sure to take your signs back down when the dog is found so your neighbors will help you again the next time.
Even with all the signs out there, you want to personally notify as many people around your home as possible. Get out your business cards that already have your phone number and write “FOUND BLACK FEMALE DOG" across it in marker. Stick one in the door of all of your neighbors if they don’t answer. Hand one to every neighbor who does answer. And especially -- go out in the early morning and evening to share cards with all those dedicated walkers/runners getting their exercise.
THE LOCAL SHELTERS
In Tucson, both the Humane Society at 327-6088 and PACC at 243-5700 take lost dog reports and try to match them to found dog reports. Both also have bulletin boards available for lost/found pictures. Both also have websites available through FOUND-PETS.ORG (see below). Since both shelters will be referring to this website, go out and post a picture of the pet you found.
YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER
There are still so many people in this world who have never used the Internet and wouldn’t know how to look for their lost pet. These people will be watching the newspaper for a found pet ad, and if they don’t see that ad, they will give up and not look further. Blessedly, in Tucson a “found” pet ad is free! Don’t wait to call! Call (520) 573-4343 and tell them you want to place a FOUND PET ad. If the owner is not in your neighborhood, they won’t have seen the signs you put up. Put an ad in the newspaper to help this pet return home.
Again, most people will only do a thing or two to find their lost pet. Be sure you do ALL of them, so this pet will be that one place they look.
- Pima County Pound Intake List
- Tucson Newspapers
- Tucson Craigslist - excellent resource. Post every 3 days in Lost and Found, and in Pets
- Humane Society of Southern Arizona
- FidoFinder.com (for dogs)
- TabbyTracker.com (for cats)
- BirdHotline.com (for birds)
In the end, if you can’t find the owner and you can’t keep the pet, it doesn’t mean you have to sentence the pet to a shelter. We have successfully placed over six hundred pets in the last 4 years -- YOU CAN DO IT, TOO! Feel free to email me or message me on Facebook and we can discuss what to do next. Saving a life is almost free!
Don’t give up. This pet needs you. You are the only hope.