Tip: Even a small pet can travel 3mph indefinitely, or 24
miles in just 8 hours.
Learn on this site how
that relates to a lost pet.
Who -- What --
Where -- Why -- How
LOST PET SEARCH SCHEDULE
Applicable to any U.S. area --
Applicable to some International areas
Lost Pets - attitudes,
Where lost pets go; animal behaviors; statistics; problems
facility may eventually get your pet and why
How to search for a lost pet
Example Search Schedule,
You are here
Section V tips:
Doing only a few things to find a lost pet isn't all
and usually is not successful. Doing all that you can do to
find a lost pet
is a truly enormous undertaking. Section V helps you
wrap your efforts up
into manageable portions, doing the most-important
things first: --Take care
of home and all facilities. --Once you have
those areas covered, then start
tackling all the other projects, using
Section V to guide you.
Section V also calculates for you what it means
if you personally
do just 5 small tasks per day.
After your initial push, it can work!
How to change the lost and surrendered pet system
Our information has been carefully checked many
times, from many angles; however, laws change, facilities change,
numbers change, situations change.
Everything you read here about the lost pet
impoundment system can be verified or proven erroneous as you work to
find your pet; you
will find tips here on how to verify information as you learn how to
accomplish a serious search.
We encourage you to verify verify verify.
In this section:
Lay out your in-depth schedule to save time and
Some information in this report is difficult to cope with and not for
the faint of heart; plan for an efficient search; it can take weeks or
months to find the lost.
Although this document is written
mostly in reference to dogs and cats, the principles can be applied to
other critters as well. Use your best judgment regarding your particular
lost pet and conduct your search accordingly.
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for Section V - Example search schedule
It is possible to conduct an intensive search in two or more hours per
day. Below is a 5-day example of how to do so. Searching 7 days a
week, every 5 days start all
over again with Day One, expanding your search area.
Assume 5 types of projects every day.
However, if you can only commit to
5 items per day (such as 5 phone calls), pick and choose which items to
do, and simply do the best you can.
Five items per day = 150 items per month!
That amount of effort can go a long way towards finding your beloved
pet. Hopefully, though, you will promise your pet that you will do more.
Use the list at right to guide you in your efforts.
> > > > > > > > > >
Before beginning your search, if you are computer savvy and reading this
on your computer (instead of as a printed copy), start a viral email
campaign. Design an email "poster" with complete details about your
lost pet including a photo; send this email to everyone you know, asking
each person to forward your notice to everyone they know. This is a good
way to get the maximum number of people looking for your lost pet. This
may or may not work in larger cities, it may or may not work with
certain animals or certain species. But for some, it can be a vital link
in your search efforts. Once the email is off and running, start working
on Day One of your search:
1. Use your local phone book(s) to find your own and nearby
municipalities, and counties in the blue pages.
Call as many as possible
and ask who handles animal
for them, and what the animal control facility phone number is.
Keep excellent notes, including city, facility name,
facility phone number.
You may also find an
excellent listing of all pounds and shelters
in your area via the internet; be sure to verify this
listing for yourself
so as not to miss any.
2. Create a lost poster (offer a reward if possible); create a
bulletin board card; make enough copies for your first
search or as
many copies as you can afford, for the long haul.
For detail suggestions see Section IV-A-5.
3. Call each animal pound located via #1 above to find out if
any animal remotely
matching your pet's description has been
added to their Found list, or brought in, dead or alive; ask
if they will post info on their bulletin board for you;
you can email a
poster to them for printing and posting. If yes, ask
the pound to add you to their email address list so
system will not reject your emails to them.
animal control facilities are animal pounds which pick
animals, and accept stray and owner animals from the
it has been a few days after loss, ask to see records
back to that date.
Check back at least every 5 days. Keep excellent notes
date called, city, facility, name(s), personal notes,
to call back (ask how long they hold animals before
and call back before the last day is up, such as every
to stay within Federal rules). Visit facilities daily
TIP: The first
time you visit a facility, search all intake lists back to
the date your pet went missing.
4. Install shelter (with bedding) and food outdoors in case your pet
shows up on its
own. Maintain for the duration of your search.
It is recommended that you provide soiled clothing with
odors, plus an item belonging to the pet with his odors
5. Spend some time scouring the neighborhood in which the pet
was lost, calling him only as you head toward home (or
where he was lost), not as you head away again;
as you continue
your neighborhood search,
attempt to recruit kids and other caring
individuals; hand out
posters; hand out grocery store bulletin
board cards. If your pet was lost from home, call out
routinely for the duration of your search.
Do not overlook the possibility that your pet is in your neighborhood
but unable to get home ... perhaps ill, injured, trapped, or terrified
and hiding (especially cats). Read this entire web site carefully to determine all the
ways and places this could happen and what to do about it. Expect the
full read to take perhaps a couple of hours to maybe an evening of study
B. DAY TWO:
1. Repeat Day One, expanding area. Use a good clear map
and keep solid notes on where you have worked to date;
keep in mind that facilities are required to hold animals
only 5 days under Federal law; some keep them longer.
2. Place ads in local papers.
Place ad on Craig's list online.
watching Craig's list every day for Found pets. Check
newspaper Found ads every day. Review lost and found
back to the day your pet was lost.
3. Use local phone book(s) to find Humane Societies, and call
If you find a good list on the internet showing all
pounds and shelters
in your area, verify them all yourself. Get a poster to them.
Societies are shelters which investigate cruelty
which also accept stray and owner animals
from the public. They do
not pick up strays unless contracted
with a municipality to do
so. Call every 5 days, or according to
their "holding time" policy.
4. Use local phone book(s) to find nearby Veterinary offices; call them
and ask if they will post a LOST note on their bulletin board. Continue
preparing lists of phone numbers and other contacts.
5. Check your outdoor shelter and food supply every day.
C. DAY THREE:
1. Repeat your efforts, expanding further out of your immediate
for cities, pounds, shelters, vets.
2. Use your local Yellow Pages to locate possible no-kill animal
shelters. On Saturday night or Sunday, get a Sunday Paper and
through Pets for Sale to find additional no-kill shelters. These
are different from Humane Society/SPCA shelters in that they do
investigate cruelty complaints and they do not routinely
Call them. Attempt to recruit helpers.
Get a poster to them.
See list at left for other newspaper
classified areas to check.
Also watch Pets for Sale ads in case someone is attempting to
sell your pet. As you surf the internet, watch for
which perhaps do not advertise and are not well-known.
Watch ads for breeding services or those looking for
3. Continue to put up posters and grocery bulletin-board ads
wherever you go; ask others to post, especially further away.
Everywhere you go or call, ask people if they will put up posters
you (email posters to whomever you can, for them to
print out and post).
4. Contact Highway Departments and Sanitation Departments; ask
if they will put a poster up in their coffee room / break
5. Start contacting
groomers, pet shops, trainers. Get posters to them.
Once you find your lost pet, or if you simply need help keeping up with the
household chores, check
all the great home vacuum robots.
D. DAY FOUR:
Continue expanding on above activities, expanding outward
from area of
loss as much as possible
2. Contact news media to see if they'll include your story as
interest news article, including large and small
newspapers, radio, TV, etc.
3. Check newspapers for Found ads, and continue watching
every day from now on. If you have a computer, check
online, too. Either place, some people do
not list each day, some do; some
list Sunday only; some list
on another day only. Some advertise only one
time. Set up a
system for yourself so you can check each quickly every
Contact research labs and get posters to them.
4. Review what you have done; determine if there are ways you
might cut back on the labor and still do a complete job. Plan
for the long-term while you hope for the short-term.
5. Prepare your lists for re-calls on day 5.
E. "DAY FIVE":
If your pet was impounded on the first day of loss, this is the 5th day, the last day any
facility is required by Federal law to keep your animal in their
facility. Re-visit or re-call as many as possible. Then renew your
search efforts starting from Day One.
Each person who does not find a lost pet contributes a full share
to the multi-millions of lost and abandoned pets dying
in the country every year.
Each lost pet circumstance requires that the owner have a personal,
humane, and social obligation to find him.
Remember that "Day Five" might be different for different pounds or
shelters, since some hold animals longer (although the pet might still
be put up for sale after the 5th day) and since you did not call each of
them on Day 1. Ask each facility how many days they hold before
disposal, and then keep good records on who does what.
This is an ongoing effort~! Every "5th day", repeat, repeat, repeat.
Keep a schedule to determine when Day Five is due for each pound,
shelter, etc. Once you determine which places will do a good job keeping
an eye out for your lost pet (especially if you have others helping who
double check that particular facility), then back off a little ...
schedule to contact them once every two weeks or once every month. This
will lessen your monthly labor dramatically, while still keeping up your
Keep in mind that one person, doing 5 things per day, can accomplish 150
lost pet tasks in a month. Five people doing the same can accomplish 750
tasks every month. Do your best to enlist others to help you; this can
also give you a breather on days you absolutely cannot attend to the
project. As you work your search, start setting up sets of tasks for
other people to do for you, so you know exactly who is doing what. If you are unable to recruit others, 150 items per month is
still a lot, and can go a long, long way toward eventually bringing your pet home.
If, on the other hand, you can
--put in one hour per day searching the neighborhood where the pet was
--put in one hour per day finding facilities, shelters, veterinarians,
and other contacts, and then start calling and emailing, and
--spend one hour or more every 5 days searching facilities in person,
you will accomplish many, many more items per month, and have an even
better opportunity of getting your lost pet home.
Be sure to take adequate time to study this entire lost pet site, in
order to get a handle on tasks which we have not presented in-depth in
this section, and to thoroughly understand the whys, hows, and what ifs in
your greater-search area.
Do not give up.
About 50% of pets which end up in pounds and shelters
Only 10% of dogs are reclaimed by their owners; cats fare much worse than dogs, with only 2 - 5% ever being reclaimed by
their owners according to the HSUS. Your lost pet is out there and will
likely show up in a pound or shelter eventually.
Do not give up too soon.
your site to animal-pounds.com
Back to top - End of Section V - Lost Pet Search Schedule, simplified.
Cleaning and D.O.
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Minneapolis, Mn 55407
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Questions or comments,
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Additional keywords: animal pound animal shelter dog pound
impoundment facility county pound city pound
humane society humane shelter neighborhood search
police pound sheriff department animal control humane society
lost pet blog lost pets blog
Questions people frequently ask:
I've lost my pet; now what?
Help me find my lost pet?
What if my pet gets lost?
Where can I find lost pet rescue?
Take care of home and all facilities. --Once you have
those areas covered, then start tackling all the other projects, using
Section V to guide you.
This website lost pets
info is now available in book form:
Book pricing here
How to search,
Where to search:
Humane Society Shelters
Leave posters with all
Other areas to check:
Lost and Found listings
Pets For Sale Listings
Craig's List online
Breeder wanted ads
Other things to do:
Start an email
Offer a reward
Put up posters
Place Lost ads
List on Bulletin Boards
Post on Craig's List
Human interest articles
Contact TV news
Contact Radio News
Get on chat sites online
Recruit wide-area helpers
Keep shelter available
Keep food/water out
Keep on visiting area
Search area regularly
Call pet's name often
If cat located, live trap
Doorknock & leave info
Recruit neighbor help
Keep on looking, for
days, weeks, months
Check here for animal-