The number of lost pets found through online posting is relatively small compared to other methods. However, this is still an important step in some situations, especially with friendly lost cats and dogs. It can also be helpful in areas where you are unable to put up posters due to local bylaws or if the location where your pet was lost is far from your home. There are A LOT of different lost pet databases available and many of them claim to be the “#1” company in one capacity or another. Because you never know what will bring your lost pet home, I still recommend posting your pet to at least the following online databases.
Recommended Lost Pet Posting Sites
Most of these lost pet databases are recommended because of the FREE services that they offer, and I don’t necessarily recommend their paid services. When you are posting to these sites, make sure to first check their database for any found pets that might be yours.
- LostMyDoggie and LostMyKitty are the same company and share a lost pet database. You can submit a FREE lost pet report to their database and they will email or fax a lost pet flyer to at least the closest 25 shelters, vets, rescues groups and other animal related businesses. After you submit your listing, you can login and view a list of where your flyer was sent. You an upgrade your listing for a small fee such as an extended listing (free listings are only posted for one week) or adding your phone number or a reward amount. These add-ons come with a 30 day money back guarantee if your pet is not found. Phone call and mailing services are an additional fee and are non-refundable. For more information on how their services work, check out their Frequently Asked Questions (located at the bottom of their site). While I recommend using their free alert service, I also recommend calling and visiting the shelters/rescues yourself. I’m not yet sure about the usefulness of phone call alerts. I think that they can help in some circumstances such as lost dogs and friendly lost cats, but other advertising methods are often more effective, especially for lost indoor-only cats.
- HelpingLostPets offers a map-based search tool for posting lost and found pets. They also share your posting to Facebook pages for your state, and you can use a link to your lost pet posting to share on your own Facebook page. Once you create your account, you can also set up email alerts for any lost, found or adoptable pets in your area.
- PawBoost will share your listing to their Facebook page for your region. For a fee, they will “boost” your Facebook post to people that live within 10 miles of where your pet went missing. Boosted posts are shown as “sponsored” posts that appear in people’s Facebook timelines. This might be effective for a lost dog, but the advertising area is set too large for most lost cats. Be aware that this service may involve a recurring fee. Here is a link to their Better Business Bureau listing.
Local Lost Pet Sites
In most cases, the important places to post your lost pet online are those that target your local area.
- Classifieds for any local newspapers that are online
- Craigslist and Kijiji (in Canada)
- Facebook – post to your own page if you have any friends in the area where your pet went missing. Also try messaging any local shelters, rescue groups, veterinarians, or other pet related businesses in your area. You might also consider creating a lost pet page for your missing pet and boosting a Facebook post.
- NextDoor.com is a private, social network for your neighborhood that exists in some locations. If your area doesn’t have a group yet, you can start your own.
National Lost Pet Sites
There are many national sites for posting lost and found cats and dogs, but unfortunately, most people who find a missing pet are unaware of the existence of such sites. You might still consider posting on these sites because you never know what one step might bring your lost pet home, but make sure that you focus on local sites first.
Lost Pet Posting Sites
When posting your lost pet to these sites, make sure to first check for any found, adoptable or for sale pets that might be yours. Some sites also provide email alerts.
- The Center for Lost Pets – free to post. Under your member page, you can view a list of possible matches, but you cannot actually search their database. You will be emailed with any new possible matches. Listings are for 30 days.
- FidoFinder – basic listing is free and offers a 30-day money back guarantee for add-on services.
- FindToto – requires purchase of lost pet alert for listing in their database.
- HelpingLostPets – free service. You can search a map-based database.
- LostMyDoggie – basic listing is free and offers a 30-day money back guarantee for add-on services (does not include phone alerts and mailings).
- LostMyKitty – basic listing is free and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for add-on services (does not include phone alerts and mailings).
- PawBoost – free basic listing.
- PetFBI – free service. Search online database. Free flyer creation.
- PetHarbor – database only includes pets in shelters. However, you can register to receive email alerts of found pets that arrive in shelters and match your pet’s basic description.
- TabbyTracker – basic listing is free and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for add-on services.
Lost and Found Pet Search Sites
Some sites will not let you post your missing pet, but you should still search their stray and adoptable pet listings. Please note that most shelters/rescues DO NOT list all of their pets online. Found pets in stray hold are not listed, and some adoptable pets may be adopted out before someone gets the chance to list them.