Steps to find your lost dog or cat

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Losing your beloved pet is a stressful and scary situation. A determined owner and the right approach to searching are key to a happy reunion.
dog running towards
Photo Credit: Artem Beliaikin

If your pet has gone missing, following all of the steps below will give you the best chance of finding him/her as quickly as possible.

Step 1

Call and report your lost pet to nearby animal shelters that accept strays, veterinary hospitals, and your pet’s microchip company.

In Berkeley, Berkeley Animal Care Services takes all strays and files lost/found animal reports. 

Step 2

Search absolutely everywhere around your home. Scared pets sometimes hide in strange places and may be too frightened to come out when called. 

Step 3

Take a walk and/or drive through your neighborhood, calling your pet’s name and jingling favorite toys. Some owners have better luck calling for pets at nighttime when it is quiet. 

Go door to door in your neighborhood to inform your neighbors about your missing pet. 

Step 4

Visit your local animal shelter every day to look for your pet. Do this for several weeks or until you find your pet. 

Step 5

Make flyers with at least one clear photo, a detailed description, time and location last seen, and your contact information. Post them within a 1-2 mile radius of where your pet was last seen, a 1 mile radius of your home, and deliver them to shelters and veterinary hospitals. 

Check found postings on Craigslist, Nextdoor, and other websites. 

Place a lost pet notice in local papers or on websites like Craigslist, Nextdoor, and Petharbor. 

Prevention Tip

Even though your pet should always wear a collar and tags, these may come off. Make sure to microchip your pet and keep the information updated so that you can be contacted when your pet is found.

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