The Most Effective Tactics to Use When Your Pet is Lost

Dog on streetIt’s a scary scenario: you’ve just returned from the day and don’t see the usual wet nose waiting to greet you. Or, you may be one of the pet parents we wrote about last week whose pet who likes to get loose. No matter what the actual cause of a pet on the run, it can be an alarming situation.

Your first instinct may be to frantically run around the yard, calling his or her name, or simply freeze up, thinking your pet will just come home eventually. However, even in the midst of the stress, there are some very useful tactics you can put into action as soon as you realize your pet is lost.

What to Do When Your Pet is Lost

Before diving into the missing pet action plan, do remember that pets – particularly cats – are adept at hiding or napping in strange places. Ask each family member to thoroughly go through the closets, garage, under the beds, and all other nooks around the home to make sure Fluffy isn’t just playing hide-and-seek.

When you know the home and yard are no-goes, try implement the following tactics. Keep in mind, the sooner you act, the more likely you are to find your pet.

  • Contact Rocklin Animal Control at (916) 625-5400 to file a lost pet report.
  • In addition to phoning Animal Control, contact your veterinary clinic, nearby veterinary clinics, local shelters and rescues, and the manufacturer of your pet’s microchip, if applicable.
  • While you are contacting local resources, ask friends, family, and neighbors to walk and drive the neighborhood and surrounding areas, calling your pet’s name as well as inquiring with local residents.
  • Create a flyer with recent, clear photos of your pet, where and when he was last seen, and how to contact you – post these on telephone poles and in public places, such as grocery stores and community centers.
  • Rewards can be helpful, but be wary of callers and ask a few detailed questions about your pet that cannot be gleaned from the flyer info.
  • Social media and online missing pet boards are incredible tools in sharing information quickly, and to a larger audience. Some good places to post your PDF flyer or information include Facebook and Twitter, community social media pages, Craigslist,, and Placer County SPCA’s Lost & Found page.
  • Visit local shelters on a daily basis.
  • Some pets have been “lured” back through familiar scents and items. If you know where you pet was last seen, consider leaving a crate, article of your clothing, food and water, and the flyer you created.  Check this spot twice a day.
  • Most importantly: stick with it and continue to re-post your information on websites, social media sites, and through online missing pet reports so your information stays at the top of the list.

While it may be easy to imagine the worst, in reality many pets do make their way back to their families. This is especially true for those pets who have been microchipped (hint * hint). Don’t be timid about contacting shelters, since so many pets go through these facilities. And, finally, stay hopeful – some pets are reunited with their families even months after becoming lost.

Through enlisting the help of your friends, remaining persistent in your efforts, and leaving no stone unturned, your chances of finding your pet are greatly increased.

If you pet has not been microchipped, we encourage you to take this important preventive measure and contact us to schedule an appointment.

posted in:  Pet Safety