Lost a Pet
Lost a Pet?
We know the sinking feeling that comes with discovering your furry best friend is missing. The sooner you begin your search, the better your chances of being reunited with your lost pet.
Take the following steps both inside and outside your neighborhood to help improve your chances of finding your pet:
1. Search Maricopa County Animal Care and Control’s Interactive Lost & Found Map
Stray pets with no identification who have been found and turned in to the Arizona Humane Society or Maricopa County Animal Care and Control have now been added to a new interactive mapping tool. Good Samaritans are also able to post found flyers on this map, so this is an excellent first step to look for your missing pet. Please also make sure to post a lost pet report on this map as well!
2. Complete Our Lost Animal Report Online
Complete our Lost Animal Report form online that provides information about your pet to see if it matches an animal in our shelter. We will respond to all submissions within 24 hours and set up an appointment for you to visit our shelter should we suspect a match.
3. Search online resources
While it may seem like an obvious solution, there are many neighborhood resources to help make your search easier and far-reaching. Search for and post about your pet on these sites:
4. Does your pet have a microchip?
If your pet has gone missing and has a microchip, call the microchip company and make sure your information is up to date.
5. Post flyers
Post flyers within a several-mile radius of your home with a description of your pet and your phone number. Download our lost dog or lost cat flyer templates.
6. Contact local animal shelters
Arizona Humane Society
- Complete our Lost Animal Report form online or call our Lost and Found department at 602.997.7585 Ext. 2082.
- You can also view the pets on our adoption floor here in case your lost pet is in our care.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control
- Contact Maricopa County Animal Care and Control’s Lost & Found service daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at 602.372.4598.
- By law, the county shelter is only required to hold a lost or stray dog for 72 hours. After that time, the dog becomes the county’s property.
- You can also call 602.506.PETS or visit their website and utilize their interactive mapping tool.
2500 S. 27th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85009
2630 W. Rio Salado Parkway
Mesa, AZ 85201
7. Other Locations
- Call local veterinary offices/emergency clinics. Visit the office in person if they have a description that remotely sounds like your pet.
- Check with your local and state Department of Transportation (DOT) and also call the non-emergency number for your local police department. It’s hard to think about, but if your pet has been hit by a car, they may be able to assist you.
MISSING CATS IN ARIZONA (FOR LOST CATS ONLY)
M Renee Ellis shared a photo.
M Renee Ellis shared a post.
Has your treasured feline joined the ranks of missing and lost pets in Phoenix, Arizona? Acting quickly is imperative and you are ready with your search plan – whom to contact, flyers ready to post, registering on lost pet notification websites, like PetAmberAlert.com can all help in the safe recovery of your missing cat. It might be helpful to also follow your cat’s escape route, review lost cat behavior, and learn the Probabilities Categories of recovering your lost cat.
Missing and lost cats in Phoenix need their people to start searching for them – right away! Enlist the services of PetAmberAlert and send out an Alert to get your entire neighborhood looking. Then the best place to start is by reviewing the habits and environment of your missing cat. An experienced pet finding specialist recommended taking these important steps when searching for your indoor (or indoor/outdoor) cat:
Ask, “Where is the cat hiding?” when you are searching for your escaped indoor cat:
- First, ask neighbors for permission to enter their yards to search for your cat.
- Assess the escape point: did your cat escape through a door or a hole in a window or door screen? This will be the starting point of your search.
- Think Cat: your indoor cat is probably frightened to find itself at large outside. Unless something happens to startle it into flight, it will follow a path along the side of the house.
- Search for potential hiding places close to the house: look up, down, left, and right of the escape point for the first structure that might be a hiding place. It could be a deck, storage area, an open garage, access to open area under the house.
- Place a humane trap in the area near the point of escape. You can also set out a plate of food and position a wildlife camera to film any potential sightings if your cat is making covert searches for food in the vicinity.
- Cats frequently come out of hiding after dark when the area is more quiet. Search during both day and night hours.
“What happened to the cat?” is the primary question if yours is an indoor/outdoor cat. According to the specialist, there are eight probabilities (Probability Categories) of what happens to missing and lost cats in Phoenix (or any area):
- It is trapped
- Injured, sick, deceased
- Death by predator
- Displaced in an unfamiliar area (by panic or danger)
- Intentional transport out of area
- Unintentional transport
If there is good news for missing and lost cats in Phoenix, it is this: 1) a well, sick, or injured cat may likely be within a 5-house radius of home – cats tend to remain within their territory; 2) the chased or startled cat generally remains within a few houses to a few blocks of home.
Among the more valuable steps you can take in facilitating your cat’s safe return is to have it microchipped and register the chip with the issuing organization. Registering with a service like PetAmberAlert.com is another way of circulating lost pet news in a timely fashion. PetAmberAlert..com acts like a telephone tree that broadcasts a lost pet alert to area residents that your cat is missing.
If your cat has returned home after being out in hot weather, be sure to check it for signs of dehydration. Offer it small amounts of water at a time, gently cool it (apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the fur between its shoulders) to help your cat’s core temperature return to normal, and monitor it for 24 hours to be sure there are no additional side effects of prolonged exposure to heat. If you have any concerns about its post-rambling condition or behavior, contact your veterinarian at once.
To recap: Think like your cat and follow its probable post-escape route. Look up, down, left, and right – from the point of escape to identify possible hiding zones. Remember the Eight Probabilities. May you find your treasured feline companion safe and sound – and soon!
Lost your pet?
What to do when you’ve lost your pet
Include a large photo of the pet and the word “LOST,” followed by your contact number. Print it on bright fluorescent colored paper that will stand out- you want people to see your notice and most will be driving by in car, so you have only a few moments to make an impact. Use large bold text that is easily seen. Post flyers all around where the pet was lost or last seen. If offering a reward be cautious, some will prey on a grieving owner to get hold of the money. The claimant could even be the person who stole your pet. Be smart. Be vigilant. Meet them in a public place and bring someone with you.
Time is of the essence. Post online and check back often. Post locally, but don’t forget that pets can be picked up by travelers and truckers and wind up in another state. Here are suggested listings:
Postings are approved by the page administrator within an hour of submission. You can also search Facebook for missing pets in your location. There are pages for cats, dogs, cities, counties and states. Check them all.
Lost Dogs of AZ
Send out a notice for your lost pet using Twitter.
Other Internet sites
PetHarbor.com (Used by both rescue groups and Maricopa County Animal Care & Control)
Footwork- Local shelters & animal control
You must check these location each day. Pets without identification that are turned into Maricopa County Animal Care & Control (MCACC) are placed on a 72 hour “stray hold” prior to evaluating, then they are made available to rescues and/or put up for adoption to the public. Animals fast become highly stressed in shelter environments, resulting in a well behaved pet exhibiting abnormal defensive behavior (including aggression), which can put it at risk for being labeled non-adoptable and euthanasia.
Bring proof of ownership (photos, license, rabies, spay or neuter certificate, adoption records).
PHYSICALLY GO TO THE LOCATIONS BELOW. CALLING DOES NOT HELP.
Arizona Humane Society 9226 N 13th Ave., Phoenix
Also visit the AZ Humane Society’s Second Chance Animal Hospital.
East Side Animal Care and Control 2360 W 8th St., Mesa
West Side Animal Care and Control 2500 S 27th Avenue, Phoenix
Drones can cover ground and see where people cannot and are of particular value if your pet is lost in a mountainous or desert area.
Some people turn to animal intuitives to aid in their search. A good one can offer valuable insight and will also teach you techniques to use on your own. Ask around for referrals and their success rate, find out if others had promising results. Fees will vary, but some may provide this service at no cost to help a lost pet get home. There is no certification or performance standard for this service; you will have to rely on your own intuition alongside references to avoid scams or those who mean well but waste precious time.
Also called pet detectives and missing animal response technician. Pet trackers use a trained dog to help find your pet, relying on their sense of smell and other heightened factors. Make sure they are qualified; ask for references, explore online ratings to avoid scams.
What to do at your home
Your pet may return, but it could take place when you are not home or sleeping. Put out something with your scent or their favorite toy or bed to attract them home. If you put out food, use something with a strong scent. If you use a trap to ensnare and retain them, beware- another animal could wind up in your trap. You can open the garage door partially
It’s possible your pet could have been picked up by an out-of-state traveler or a trucker and wind up in another state. Collars get lost and can be removed, but if microchipped, you have a better chance of getting your pet back.
Your pet could have been rescued by a new owner, unwilling to relinquish. Ask around the neighborhood if anyone has a new pet.
Cats and dogs have different behaviors. A cat is more likely to rush off and get spooked if you run to it calling its name, while a dog will be more apt to come. Read up on roaming patterns and traits for tips to help you find your lost best friend.
Phoenix lost cats
Lost & Found Pets
So you found a lost pet. First of all, thank you for caring enough to take the dog or cat off the streets, you’re her best chance of finding her way back home.
If you are unable to hold the pet for a short period of time, take the pet to Maricopa County Animal Care & Control or call to have the pet picked up by an Animal Control Officer. www.maricopa.gov/pets
If you are able to hold the pet, here are some helpful tips for reuniting the lost pet with its owner.
1. Take the pet to the nearest vet and have them scanned for a microchip.
(This is usually free.) If the pet has a chip, follow the directions given to you by the microchip manufacturer.
2. Visit www.petharbor.com to post the pet as found and download a Found Dog flyer template.
Include a photo and a brief description as well as your contact information. Post the flyers near where you found the pet, in all directions.
3. Post on Nextdoor.
Post the pet on Nextdoor, a website and smartphone app, which allows you to connect with neighbors and surrounding communities.
4. Post the pet on Maricopa County Animal Care & Control’s website.
5. Post the pet on Craigslist.
It’s helpful to withhold one detail of the pet that only an owner would know (i.e. distinctive marking, color of collar, etc…) to prevent the wrong owner from claiming a pet.
6. Post the pet on Straydar and Lost Dogs Arizona Facebook pages specifically for lost and found pets in the Greater Phoenix area.
In the event you have tried unsuccessfully to reunite the pet with its owner for a reasonable amount of time (we suggest at least 7 days), and you cannot keep the pet permanently, reach out to rescues in our community. A list can be found by visiting PACC911’s website. pacc911.org/coalition-partner-list
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