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.
Most of these lost pet databases are recommended because of the additional free services that they offer. 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 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). I definitely recommend using their free alert service. I’m not yet sold on 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 for lost indoor-only cats.
- HelpingLostPets is unique in that it 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 this link 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 also offers a FREE listing to their database and an email alert to shelters, rescues and vets. After you post your listing, you can login and view the list of businesses emailed. They also create a Facebook post and share it to the 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. I recommend their free posting service, but I’m not yet sure about the effectiveness of boosted posts. I’m currently testing some out myself on a limited basis.
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 as well as pages for any local newspapers, shelters or rescue groups. Check out the Animal Rescue Facebook Directory for a partial list of rescue groups on Facebook. In addition try searching keywords such as “lost” or “missing” and your state (both as an abbreviation and written out).
- NextDoor.com is a private, social network for your neighborhood that exists in some locations
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.
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
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.
- PetHarbor – limited number of shelters registered, but does provide an email alert service for free.
Western Massachusetts Resources
Lost Pet Research & Recovery is located in western Massachusetts. These are local sites to post your lost pet online in western/central Massachusetts and New England.
Local – western/central Massachusetts
- T.J. O’Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center – serves Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee, MA
- Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society – Leverett and Springfield, MA
- Westfield Homeless Cat Project – no-kill rescue in Westfield, MA
- Granite State Dog Recovery – covers all of New England and not just New Hampshire
- New England Lost and Found Pets
- Lost and Found Pets of Massachusetts
- MA Lost Pets
- Commonwealth Cat Recovery – lost & found cats in New England
- Lost and Found Animals of Vermont
- New Hampshire Pets Lost and Found
- Lost and Found Dogs of Connecticut
- Maine Lost Pet Recovery
- Rhode Island Lost Pets