How To Find Your Lost Pet

Tips to Find Your Pet

If you have lost an animal, please fill in our handy Lost Animal Report or send us an email. The OHS receives thousands of lost animals every year. Submitting a complete lost report will help us to quickly identify some animals.

Submitting a lost report is not a substitute for visiting the shelter to look for your animal.


Be aware that your dog could be almost anywhere. Exploring dogs have travelled as much as 20 kilometers in a single day. Do not limit your search to your neighbourhood only.


If you have lost your cat, search the area at dusk and/or dawn – be cautious around cars and garbage cans. Inform your neighbours and ask them not to feed your cat.

What to do next

  • Visit the humane society as soon as possible
  • Make fliers that include the lost date, description and any unique markings, a picture and your phone number – a reward motivates people!
  • Make familiar sounds to attract your pet and walk around your neighbourhood in the morning and evening calling your pet’s name
  • Put fliers up around your neighbourhood, shops, vet clinics and anywhere else, including your old neighbourhood if you’ve recently moved
  • Place the kitty litter outside – while it may sound strange, this helps nervous or shy cats who may have bolted return to a site that “smells” familiar
  • Place a lost ad in the paper and check the found section
  • Check with the neighbours, mail carrier, newspaper and other delivery people, local vet clinics, etc.

Helpful hints

  • Be specific when describing your lost pet.
    Examples: A large 6-year-old domestic short-haired cat, all black with white paws. Neutered and declawed. Friendly with people. Answers to the name Newton OR A 3-year-old medium size dog, 25-30lbs, black and tan, shepherd mix. Female, spayed. A little timid – answers to the name Shadow.
  • Be sure to attach a photo.
  • Help our staff at the Humane Society find your pet – visit the shelter every other day to check for new arrivals. Ask for help and don’t forget to file a lost report!

Upon each visit

  • Look through the stray wards
  • Check the bulletin board in the hallway between the stray cat rooms
  • Look through our lost and found reports
  • Check the D.O.A. and “euthanized before time” records
  • Always sign the back of your lost report

More tips

  • Update tags regularly
  • License and microchip your companion animal – even indoor cats
  • Inquire about our next microchip clinic for all companion animals
  • Be sure to update your pet’s microchip information.
  • Stray animals are held three full days, not including the day of entry or holidays. For example, if your companion animal arrives at the shelter on Monday, its holding time would be up at the end of day Thursday. Don’t wait — come and check as soon as possible!

Give Your Pets the Best Chance of Returning Home

Remember, microchipping your pet gives her the best chance of being returned to you if ever lost.

Sign up for our upcoming microchip clinics.

Upcoming Microchip Clinics