Professional pet detectives share their experience and knowledge to help you find a lost pet.
You’ve been reading your Lost Pet Alerts, keeping a good lookout, and then, finally, you see a missing pet you know you can help! We don't want to leave you hanging out there, PetRescuer, so we've compiled a list of tips and instructions for the best ways to approach a lost pet and what to do when you have a found pet in your care.
First things first, it’s really important to remember that lost pets are out of their element, and their behavior is often unpredictable. Be mindful of your approach:
Sick and injured pets are almost always on the defensive, so in those situations, you should call animal control services for help. Even though you want to help, only trained professionals know how to handle these situations in a way that protects the pet and people involved.
You’re standing toe-to-paw with a lost pet, now what? The first thing you need to do is check for a collar and ID tags and immediately call the number on the tags. Often, a pet will have an owner tag and a vet’s tag. Try to call the owner first, and if she doesn’t answer, try the vet.
As you may know, many lost pets don’t have collars. Cats generally don’t wear collars and tags, and lost dogs also have a tendency to lose their collars, too. So it’s pretty common to come across a lost pet without a collar and ID tags.
You have a few options for what to do with a lost pet with no form of visible ID:
If a microchip scan positively identifies the pet, then you have to decide whether to keep the pet in your care until the owner arrives or leave it with a shelter. This, of course, is a decision only you can make, and it depends entirely on your circumstances. All PetRescuers need to remember to keep any lost pets separated from their children and other pets. This helps ensure that everyone is safe, so that your good deed doesn’t end badly.
Thanks for all your help and remember to play it safe around lost pets. Happy rescuing!
Call 1 888 HOMEAGAIN (1 888 466 3242) and hit prompt 2 to speak with a licensed ASPCA veterinarian in a pet medical emergency.
For HomeAgain members who have the full service annual membership, there is no charge for use of the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline.
If your pet does not have a HomeAgain full service annual membership, you may be charged $60 for this call.
Call now and the recovery process will be underway by the time you hang up the phone.
If not, please log in to your account or call 1 888 HOME AGAIN (1 888 466 3242) to update your contact information. While you do not have access to our full suite of proactive services, we will notify you and arrange for your pet’s return as soon as he is found.
To upgrade to a full service membership, including our Rapid Lost Pet Alerts, the aid of 450,000 Pet Rescuers, Medical Insurance for Lost Pets offered by PetFirst, and more, please call Customer Service at 1 888 HOME AGAIN (1 888 466 3242).
Call 1 888 HOME AGAIN (1 888 466 3242)