9 Steps that Must be Taken First

How to Find your Lost Pet: A Step by Step Guide to Finding your Pet Successfully

Have you lost a pet? Then you have come to the right place. Raising local awareness is key to bringing home a lost family member. This guide has been designed in order to help you get it done quickly and efficiently.

Step 1: Calm Down

Losing a pet is always stressful. But in order to act effectively, it is important not to panic and to stay calm. Take a few deep breaths; make yourself some soothing tea, meditate … use whatever calming method works for you. Then you can proceed to the next steps.

Step 2: Search your Home or Yard Carefully

Often a pet can be hiding somewhere in an apartment or house - and, for example, fall asleep. If it could be likely that your pet is hiding somewhere, close all of the doors in your home and carefully search all of the areas where your pet could be hiding. If you have a large garden or yard area, separate it off into different areas and have friends or neighbours involved to help look for your pet. If you still can´t find your pet, go to the next step.

Step 3: Place a Listing on Pet911.org

Once you have verified that your pet has gone missing, check to see if anyone has found your pet. To do this, go to the Animal Base and search for the pets that have been found. If you have not found your pet´s ad, post a lost ad as soon as possible.

Why Pet911?

  1. This is the largest animal search system worldwide, and the probability of successful completion of searches is higher here. 
  2. As soon as you place an ad in the system, the ad automatically gets posted among social media networks and all search engines 

Why is speed important? It sometimes takes time for posts to be approved on social media networks by group moderators. This can take a few minutes to several days. The sooner that you start this process, the sooner your ad will appear on social media networks and the right people will see your listing.

Step 4: Take Advantage of Paid Options

If you have a financial opportunity, be sure to use the paid options. This will greatly increase your chances of getting your pet home. From experience, paid options allows your ad to be seen by many more people. Sometimes, owners of pets plan to search first with free options and then use paid options, later. However, from a cost saving point of view, this does not usually work out. According to our statistics, the highest percentage of successful searches is completed when the owners take the necessary steps to share information and to as wide a network as possible. Remember that every day the chances of finding your pet decreases! Therefore, it is necessary to use all possibilities as quickly as possible.

Step 5: Put Up Paper Ads

Old fashioned paper adverts are still a great way to notify local residents. Post ads in your local area and nearby high-traffic areas such as grocery stores, bus stops and popular establishments. Add a photo of your pet and your contact information. If you have a financial opportunity, indicate a specific amount as a reward. Do not write vague phrases like “I guarantee a reward if our pet is found”. It is better to write “$5000 Reward”. Make sure that the text in your ad is large and easy to read. If you have access to a colour printer, even better. Use bright colours to make your ad stand out. Do not use inkjet printer or markers as the print can wash off if it rains. If there are any janitors in your area, consider their work schedule as they can sometimes tear ads down. Put ads up after cleaning in your local area.

Step 6: Tell Neighbours and Passers-by about the Loss

Most lost pets are not wandering around for more than a few miles from the area where they went missing. Giving neighbours vital information about your pet is a sure way to increase the chances of a happy reunion with your dog or cat. Call your neighbours and ask them to keep an eye out for your pet. Knock on doors and hand out printed flyers about your pet. Walk around the area regularly. Tell your postman to join the search as well. If your car is in the area where your pet was last seen, place a prominent advert under the glass of your car. Most lost pets don´t stray too far from their homes, so keep this in mind. Make sure that everyone you talk to has your contact information and knows exactly what your pet looks like so that they can contact you if they find your dog or cat. 

The more people know, the higher the chance of a happy reunion!

Step 7: Think about the places your pet has been to

Has your pet been in the area 3km from your home? Go there and put up ads. Lost animals often return to places where they have already been. People living there need to know who to contact the next time that your pet is seen. You must also periodically return in person to places where you have seen your pet. A severe and stressful loss can cause your pet to act out of character. He or she may be wary of strangers, but will run home to mom or dad!

Step 8: Beware of Scammers

Unfortunately, there are also some unscrupulous people who can profit from your desperate situation. You should never send money to anyone you don´t know or have met before, even if they say they have found your pet. If someone claims to have found your pet, do not ask them obvious questions like “Does she have a white spot on her back?”. Instead, give them a description. Ask them to tell you something about your pet that is not visible in the photos which may have already been published. Is a person cannot find an identifying physical attribute, this is a warning sign that they may be lying to you. If you are absolutely sure that this person has your pet, arrange the exchange in person and in a public place. 

Money should ONLY be transferred after the pet is safely home and in your hands!

Step 9: Don't Give Up!

Never give up on finding your lost pet! 

Pets reunite with their families after being separated for days, weeks, months or even years. There is a very good chance that your pet was adopted by another family who could not locate you, the legal owner. From what we have seen in Pet911.com.ua , this is one of the most common scenarios. Passively waiting for your pet to come home will NOT help you find these people! Take action! And we will try to help you!