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.
While lost cats hide, lost dogs ROAM! How far your dog will travel depends on a few things. For tips on how to find your dog, click here.
Kitty strayed? A physical search for your cat increases the likelihood that you will find her. For more tips, click here.
What to do next
Immediate steps to take if your cat has just gotten lost:
- Right away, physically search the immediate area.
- If your cat is an indoor-only cat, and you aren’t sure he has gotten out of the house, search EVERYWHERE in the house first. You may want to set a live trap in the house with a tasty treat in it—making sure you’re checking it every few hours.
- Look outside in hiding spaces, like sheds, and under porches and bushes: nine times out of ten, cats will be found hiding, not wandering down the street. They will not come when you call them and may be startled by loud noises. Use a flashlight for darker spaces, and be quiet and move slowly as you search to avoid startling the cat. If you do see him, approach slowly. Use treats to lure him, or cover him with a towel to contain him.Talk to your neighbours: knock on doors, ask them to keep an eye out and to check their garages and sheds, and ask if you can look in their backyard.
If you haven’t found your cat right away, or he has already been missing for a while, take aggressive actions immediately: conduct an extensive search, and let everyone know he’s missing. For more tips, click here.
Immediate steps to take if your dog has just gotten lost:
- Think about why your dog ran: was it away from something, or towards? This may help you to figure out where to start searching.
- Physically search the immediate area and call your dog loudly.
- If there are sounds or words your dog reacts to, use them! Sound excited and happy when you’re calling him…he may not come if you sound angry, harsh or panicked.
- Go to areas you know your dog likes and is familiar with…is there a spot he likes to stop to smell other dogs’ markings? A dog park close by? A walk route you usually take?
- If it’s hot out, dogs usually stay along tree lines and in the shade.
If you haven’t found your dog right away, or he has already been missing for a while, take aggressive actions immediately: conduct an extensive search, and let everyone know he’s missing. For more tips, click here.
- 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!