Lost & Found Pets
Losing your dog or cat can be a stressful and scary situation. A determined owner and the right approach to searching are key to a happy reunion. Do not wait for someone to find your pet for you! Please follow all of the steps below:
- Call and report your lost pet to nearby animal shelters, veterinary hospitals, and your pet's microchip company.
- Search absolutely everywhere around your home. Scared pets sometimes hide in strange places and many are too frightened to come out when called.
- Take a walk or drive through your neighborhood, calling your pet's name and jingling favorite toys. Many owners have better luck calling for pets at nighttime when it is quiet.
- Go door to door in your neighborhood to inform your neighbors about your missing pet.
- Visit your local animal shelter every day to look for your pet. Do this for several weeks or until you find your pet.
- Make flyers with at least one clear photo, a detailed description, time and location last seen, and your contact information. Post them within a 1-2 mile radius of where your pet was last seen, a 1 mile radius of your home, and deliver them to shelters and veterinary hospitals.
- Check lost and found postings on Craigslist.
- Place a lost pet ad in local papers or on websites like Craigslist and Petharbor.
Prevention: Even though your pet should always wear a collar and tags, these may come off. Make sure to microchip your pet and keep the information updated so that you can be contacted when your pet is found.
Many concerned citizens who find lost animals assume they have been abandoned by their owners, but the majority of found animals are family pets who have gotten lost. You can help reunite a lost pet with his/her owner by taking the following actions:
- Visit or call your local animal shelter to make a report. You are required by law to do this, and your local animal shelter is one of the first places a lost pet's owner should look.
- Many pets will not have collars with identification tags, but they may have a microchip. Most veterinary hospitals and shelters can scan the animal for a microchip.
- Post found ads on Craigslist.
- Make flyers with a description of the pet and your contact information and post them within a 1-2 mile radius of where you found the animal, and at animal shelters and veterinary hospitals.
- Go door to door and talk to your neighbors to see if anyone is familiar with the pet.
- IMPORTANT: If the animal you find is injured, please call your local animal control for help. An injured animal is more likely to bite or scratch, and you could be seriously hurt.
- While animal shelters with animal control contracts will take in and house stray animals, most private shelters (like BEBHS) do not house stray animals.
- At the animal shelter, there is a required holding period for stray animals to give them a chance to be found by their owners. During this holding period, the animal cannot be adopted, released to another shelter or rescue group, or euthanized.
Local Shelter Contacts
- Berkeley Animal Care Services - (510) 981-6600
- Oakland Animal Services - (510) 535-8300
- Contra Costa Animal Services - West: (510) 374-3966, Central/East: (925) 335-8300