Posting your lost pet in local online classifieds is an important step in helping bring your lost pet home. Although the percentage of pets that are reunited through online classified ads is low, it does happen. One of the most popular online classified sites is craigslist, but many local newspapers may also have an online version.
Guidelines for creating an online ad:
- Make sure the title is clear such as “Lost Tabby Cat,” and not something unclear like “Help Us Find Jack.”
- Include at least a town and maybe a street name or two, but don’t include your address.
- If you are posting in your local paper online, you may want to use your phone number, but I wouldn’t suggest posting your phone number on craigslist unless that is the only way people can contact you.
- Include a short description. For dogs, include breed or mix, size, and coat colors. For cats, include fur length and color, but only include breed if it is well-known. If your pet was wearing a collar, you may want to note this but also indicate that it may have been lost. Many cats and dogs seem to lose their collars while lost. Only include age if s/he is a kitten/puppy or elderly animal. Less information is generally better so that people do not accidentally ignore your ad because they thought the cat they saw was a male not a female or they thought the dog had a blue collar rather than a green collar. Holding back some identifying information is also useful for checking the validity of sightings and avoiding scammers. It is also generally safer not to include your pets name in the ad.
- If your dog or cat is skittish, request that people do not chase him/her, but call you immediately with any information.
- Preferably include an up-to-date picture that shows your pet’s full body.