LOST YOUR PET? These are the most important steps to take, right away:
1. Search the neighborhood
Timing is critical! Drive the neighborhood and surrounding streets. Your pet can be strolling around with his newfound freedom and stopping to smell every new scent along the way. Ask neighbors, letter carriers, and delivery people along the way if they have seen your pet.
2. Contact Local Animal Shelters
File a lost pet report with every shelter (listed below) and visit them daily.
- Austin Animal Shelter (where Animal Control in Austin brings found pets)
7201 Levander Loop Bldg. A, Austin, TX 78702
Contact: They do not accept phone calls. Visit in person.
- San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter (where Animal Control in Buda, Kyle and San Marcos bring found pets)
750 River Road, San Marcos, TX 78666
- PAWS Shelter of Central Texas
500 FM 150 East, Kyle, Texas 78640
- Austin Pets Alive!
1156 West Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78703
3. Call the Microchip Center
If your pet was microchipped, immediately notify the company you registered with. Each one has unique search services, so be sure to view their Lost & Found pages or call directly. Also, most vet clinics (including Manchaca Village Veterinary Care) and shelters have a microchip scanner, so if someone returns your pet there, the clinic or shelter will provide them with your registered contact info:
4. Online Postings
Online resources and social media help you spread the word. Post about your lost pet on your personal Facebook and ask friends to share. Immediately post or register your pet’s photo and detailed information on these sites:
- Craigslist Lost & Found Austin
- Craigslist Lost & Found San Marcos
- Center for Lost Pets
- Nextdoor Lost & Found
- Facebook Page: Lost Dogs of Texas
- Facebook Page: Lost & Found Pets of Austin
- Facebook Page: Lost & Found Pets of Hays County
- Fido Finder
- Lost Dogs of America
- Lost Pet USA
- Missing Pet Partnership
5. Paper Flyers
Create a flyer with your pet’s name, photo(s), sex, detailed description, place last seen, and your contact info. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it. Post one at the following locations:
- Your neighborhood’s mailbox area
- Your neighborhood’s community center
- Your neighborhood’s entrance(s)
- Traffic intersections
- Veterinary Clinics
- Pet Supply Stores
6. Repeat steps, and don’t lose hope!
Pets are reunited with their owners every day! Increase your odds by staying on top of the search.
- Keep driving your neighborhood and the surrounding area. Many lost pets are close by or find their way back to the area.
- Visit your shelters every day.
- Stay on top of the online postings.
- Make sure your phone is always charged and available for calls.
Be wary of scams
When talking to a stranger who claims to have found your pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really have your pet. Be particularly wary of people who insist that you give or wire them money for the return of your pet.
Small precautions to take, to prevent escapes and enhance the chance of return in the future:
- Even if your pet is an indoor-only pet, always make sure they have a collar ID tag on, with your name and current phone number.
- Have your pet MICROCHIPPED. When people find your pet, they often turn them in to local vets and shelters, most of which can scan your pet for a microchip, which contains crucial contact info. Be sure to always supply your microchip company with current contact info and a photo of your pet.
- Avoid leaving your pet outdoors when you are not home.
- Consider locks for backyard gates. Some dogs have been known to jump up and inadvertently undo gate latches
- Never leave your pet outside during thunderstorms or firework displays—many pets are terrified of loud sounds and bright lights, will panic and flee.