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Is Your Pet Lost?

A lost pet can be a frightening experience for any pet parent. Immediate action is crucial, but where do you start? Follow the steps below for the best chance of a reunion.

What to do immediately after your pet goes missing:

Walk the neighborhood: Take a walk around the immediate area and speak to any neighbors, postal service workers, landscapers, or anyone who may have seen your lost pet. You know your pet best, so look in areas that your pet may have been interested in or comfortable hiding in. Most pets are found close to home.


Share their scent: Put a couple of your pet's favorite items near the most common entry ways into your home. The front door and the door into your yard would be the best locations. You can include items like their favorite bed, blanket, toys, their litterbox (if cat) and any other items they use frequently. Their scents may help them find their way home.

Next Steps:

  1. Search for your lost dog or cat on Petco Love Lost: We have partnered with Petco Love Lost to easily help search the national lost and found database and create a searchable/shareable alert for your missing pet. Upload a a picture of your pet or searching by location. Powered by facial recognition technology, Petco Love Lost helps match found animals to reported lost pets nationwide. Visit Petco Love Lost and search now!

If you haven't done so already, be sure to register your pet on Petco Love Lost to do things like create a Lost listing that can be shared and print out premade fliers. You can also receive fliers via text message or email.

  1. Use the sharing features on Petco Love Lost to distribute your lost pet listing on other social media outlets:
  1. Make sure your pet’s microchip information is updated: If a finder takes your missing pet to be scanned for a microchip, you want to make sure that all the information is correct so that you will be contacted immediately.
  1. Check with your local animal services, animal control, and animal shelters: Call to see if your missing pet is at one of these locations. An in-person trip is preferable so you can look and see if your pet is in their care. Many organizations allow you to place a lost report with them, where you can leave a photo of your pet and your contact information. ADD YOUR LOCAL SHELTER’S CONTACT PREFERENCES HERE.


  • Continue to spread the word about your missing pet: Make sure any posters or fliers made are large and bright with only relevant information on it. Place in high traffic areas and in the vicinity of where your lost pet went missing.


  1. Don’t give up! Finding a lost pet can take time. Remember to regularly check websites that you have posted your lost pet on and make updates as needed. New lost and found pets are added regularly to Petco Love Lost and to your local shelters.



1.  Contact your Municipal Open-Intake Shelter and fill out a Found Animal report.  The San Marcos Animal Shelter is the open-intake shelter for Hays County and Austin Animal Center is for Travis County.  Also, contact your Animal Control Officer.


The San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter is the open-intake shelter for all of Hays County. Please visit their website here or call their office at 512-805-2650 for information regarding steps to take for a lost or found pet.

  • To fill out a Found Pet report for Hays County CLICK HERE.
  • To Search Lost Reports for Hays County CLICK HERE.

Hays County Animal Control services are broken up by city or county. Use the information below to determine the correct Animal Control Office:

  • San Marcos – 512-805-2650
  • Kyle – 512-268-0859
  • Buda – 512-393-7896
  • For animal control in Dripping Springs, Wimberley, Driftwood or other areas of Hays County NOT including the City of San Marcos you would call the Hays County Sheriff’s office at 512-393-7800



The Austin Animal Center is the open-intake shelter for all of Travis County. Due to the pandemic, their intake processes may have changed. Please contact 311 or visit their lost and found website here.


2. Take the pet to an area vet or shelter to check for a microchip.  If a pet is neutered or has a tattoo, they are more than likely microchipped too.

The vet or shelter can contact the microchip company for owner information.  However, if the chip is not registered or the owner is not available they may NOT be able to hold on to the pet.


3.  Put out a yard sign with a large picture of the found pet and your contact information.  If possible, also stake a yard sign at neighborhood entrance during peak traffic times, like 7-9am or 4-6pm.  You’d be surprised how close the pet may live!

4.  Search and Post on Petco Love Lost,  local listserves, and Facebook groups designated for lost and found pets.  Be sure to search for a generic description (i.e. black dog) many people don’t know breeds or how to age a dog and may post inaccurate information.

When posting give as much information as possible.  Height, weight, color, sex.  Place and time last seen, if wearing collar and if so a description.  Any identifying markings. Always add a photo if possible.


5. Post flyers where people STOP.  Place where they can easily read while in a care or walking.


6. Don’t assume the pet is unwanted due to condition.  The pet may have been lost for a long time or have a health issue.


7.  Hold on to the pet as long as possible, it will make it more likely that the pet is re-united with it’s family and not be euthanized.


To submit a lost or found report to PAWS, Email PAWS Shelter of Central Texas at  as much information about your lost pet as possible.  Please include:  Name, sex, age, animal type, breed, color, special markings, whether spayed/neutered, if wearing collar a description, microchip # if chipped, date, time and place last seen, your contact information and picture if available.



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