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San Diego Humane Society

How to Find Your Lost Pet

Lost a pet?

Take the following steps to find your missing animal!


Search our database.

If you find your pet here on our database of found animals, follow the process to reclaim your animal.


Check your neighborhood.

Eighty percent of lost pets are found within a mile of home, so check your local area and speak with neighbors.


Use online resources.

Post about your lost pet on social media, and search neighborhood apps and websites like Nextdoor Pawboost and Finding Rover


Create a Lost Pet flyer.

Use this template to create a flyer and post it at local coffee shops, dog parks, pet stores, veterinary offices and other businesses.


Submit a lost pet report.

After you have completed the steps above, please submit a lost pet report here.


San Diego Humane Society

San Diego Humane Society provides lost and found services for the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, Imperial Beach, Oceanside, Poway, San Diego, San Marcos, Santee, Solana Beach and Vista.

Call 619-299-7012 or email, for more information.

Serving Escondido, San Marcos and Poway
619-299-7012, EXT. 2737

Serving Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, Oceanside, Solana Beach and Vista
619-299-7012, EXT. 2854

Serving Imperial Beach, San Diego and Santee
619-299-7012, EXT. 2257

Outside San Diego Humane Society's Jurisdiction

If you live outside of the above cities, please see this page for a list of other organizations that provide lost and found services in your area. Here is a Jurisdiction Chart by zip code to help you know who can help you. You should start with the shelter that covers the area your pet was last seen.

Create and Distribute a Lost Pet Flyer: 

Lost Cat Poster Template    Lost Dog Template

Use the above templates to create a “Lost Pet” flyer and post it at:

  • Local veterinarian hospitals or clinics
  • Pet stores
  • Coffee shops
  • Regional lost and found Facebook pages, Nextdoor and Craigslist under the lost/found community page
  • Local newspapers

More Resources:

Help Your Pet Get Home

Microchip your pet and always keep a current identification tag on them. If your dog or cat wears a tag that has his or her name, your name, full address and phone number, your lost pet will stand a better chance of getting home. Your pet's I.D. tag is the best ticket home! Remember to update your pet's tag and microchip when you move. And be sure to keep a current photo of your pet in case he or she ever becomes lost. It is important to always keep a current rabies and license tag on your pet, in accordance with local laws. San Diego County requires that all dogs are licensed and that they are vaccinated for rabies. 

Finding Rover App

If the pet you lost is a dog, download this free app immediately. Finding Rover is a facial recognition app that reunites lost dogs with their owners. Photos of dogs that are found or admitted to participating shelters are stored in the app’s database. Every time a pet parent posts a photo of a dog they’ve lost, Finding Rover scans its database and provides possible matches and necessary contact information within seconds.


Check with local animal shelters

Local shelters like San Diego Humane Society and Department of Animal Services have an online form to fill out if you’ve lost a pet. This enables the shelter to check its current and future animal inventory specifically for the pet you’ve lost.


Posting hardcopy and online (i.e. Craigslist or The Center for Lost Pets) flyers is a great way to get a visual of your lost pet out in the local area where he or she has likely wandered into. Be sure to include a large, updated photo of your dog on the flyer along with two forms of contact information for reaching you. Since stray animals are often brought to local veterinary offices for a microchip scan or medical care, posting flyers there as well is a good idea. While you’re out and about posting, keep an eye out for flyers of “found” animals. One of them may be your pet!

Alert your neighbors

Let your neighbors know your pet is missing. If they aren’t familiar with what your pet looks like, show them a picture or give them one of the flyers you created. It helps to have extra sets of eyes out in the community to look for your pet.

Walk the perimeter

Sometimes, pets can flee their homes out of fear to look for a safe place to hide. Other times, curiosity or reproductive drive can cause a pet to wander around the community. Regardless of why you believe your pet may have left home, walk the perimeter of your neighborhood to conduct a visual search for your animal. Be sure to check tucked away places where an animal may feel safe, such as crawl spaces, behind dumpsters or underneath cars. Lost animals may also respond to familiar sounds like your voice. So while you search, periodically call out their name and jingle their favorite toy or leash. The good news is, with today’s technology, there’s a good chance your lost pet will be returned to you. You can optimize these chances by making sure your pet is microchipped with your up-to-date contact information.

Websites that assist with finding lost pets:

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