Lost a pet?
As a pet parent, one of the most frightening moments you may experience is when you realize your pet is lost. The panic that follows this realization can make it hard to think clearly about what you should do next. So we’ve gathered a list of helpful, immediate actions you can take to ensure you have the best possible chance of being reunited with your beloved pet.
Who to Contact
We suggest you start by contacting the animal service provider that provides lost and found animal services to the area your pet was last seen. Use this comprehensive list of animal service provider jurisdictions to determine who to contact first.
View Animal Service Jurisdictions
San Diego Humane Society
Phone: 619-299-7012 and press Option #2
Outside San Diego Humane Society's Jurisdiction
See this page for a list of other organizations that provide lost and found services in San Diego county.
Create and Distribute a Lost Pet Flyer:
Posting hardcopy and online 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!
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
- The Center for Lost Pets
More Resources and Steps You May Take:
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.
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.