If at all possible, visit shelters and rescues. If you can’t visit, then at least call and speak to someone and email them a copy of your lost pet flyer. If you use email only, then make sure that you get a confirmation that it was read.
Do not assume that you don’t need to check with shelters or rescue groups just because your cat or dog had an ID tag or microchip. Collars often fall off or are removed. Microchips can be missed and are often not properly registered. Some small rescue groups may not check any or all incoming animals for microchips.
Likewise, don’t skip this step just because you used a free or paid service that sent an email or fax to local shelters and rescues. This is a good additional search option, but don’t rely on it completely. Some emails may end up in spam folders and never even get opened. Others may not get printed off and posted where all employees/volunteers can see them.
Don’t only rely on online postings on Facebook or Petfinder.com! Some pets may be adopted out before being posted and injured/sick animals may end up being euthanized and never posted. Many shelters and rescue groups are understaffed or all volunteer and do not have the time to post all found/adoptable pets on their website, Facebook page or Petfinder.com.
Finding Local Shelters and Rescue Groups
If your pet is missing, you should contact your local animal control officer and any local shelters and rescue groups. These sites provide zip-code searches for shelters, rescue groups, and some animal control facilities. I would suggest checking them both since neither one offers a complete list. If you don’t see a shelter or animal control listed for your town, check your town website or call your local police department.
You may also be able to find a more comprehensive list of local shelters and rescues by checking the resources section of a regional lost and found group. If you live in western Massachusetts, check the Lost Pet Research and Recovery shelter and rescue group list. Check Lost Dogs of America to see if they have a group in your state. Then check their Facebook listing to see if they have a website. Lastly, check their website for a list of shelters/rescues or other local resources.
Posting to Local Shelters and Rescue Groups
Several online posting sites will share your lost pet posting with local shelters, rescues and pet businesses. See: Online Posting for more information.