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.
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.
I’VE FOUND A DOG/CAT, WHAT DO I DO?
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.
Hays County Animal Control services are broken up by city or county. Use the information below to determine the correct Animal Control Office:
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 email@example.com 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.
I NEED TO REHOME MY PET, WHAT DO I DO?