Lost or Found a Dog or Cat
Have you lost or found a pet? Here is some helpful information.
Lost Your Dog or Cat?
1. Immediately contact your local animal control agency (through your police department), your local animal shelters and vet offices to report your missing dog or cat. Complete a “lost report” with as many details as possible. While a large dog my stray farther, small dogs and cats tend to stay close to home.
2. Make flyers with a good photograph of your missing pet and post them in your neighborhood. Visit your neighbors in person and ask that they check their garages, sheds or storage spaces to make sure a pet has not accidentally been shut inside. Offer a reward.
3. Post online through neighborhood message boards such as NextDoor. Spread the word on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, Pet Harbor and craigslist. Contact online lost pet services such as Paw Boost, Find Toto, Lost Pet USA, Lost My Doggie or Fido Finder to post a free online ad for your lost animal.
4. Check your local animal shelters in person, every day. Descriptions over the phone are not always sufficient in busy shelters.
5. Place a “Lost Pet” ad in your local newspaper, and consider bulk mailing a lost pet postcard to get the word out to as many people in your area as possible.
6. If your pet is microchipped, contact your microchip company to make sure your correct contact information is on file so that if your pet is found, you can be contacted.
7. Search your neighborhood like you have never searched before. Talk to everyone. Go out at night when it is quiet and call your animal’s name. Open a can of tuna to tempt a timid cat. Use a flashlight to look under porches and parked cars. Never give up!
Found a Stray Animal?
1. AFRP does not have the ability to take in stray animals. Immediately contact your local animal control agency and local animal shelters to file a found pet report. Don’t assume that a lost pet has been abandoned - there is often a very worried pet guardian searching for their lost animal.
2. Check for a identification tag and take the animal to a local vet clinic to have him/her scanned for a microchip.
3. Create “Found Pet” flyers to post in your neighborhood. Post the found animal’s photo and description on neighborhood message boards, social media sites, bulletin boards, craigslist and NextDoor.
4. If you take the animal you found to the shelter, do everything you can for the animal’s welfare. Notify your local rescue groups to keep an eye on the animal in case it is not reclaimed or is not having an easy time getting adopted. (AFRP is a safety net for shelter animals in Monterey County, call us at 831-333-0722.) Claim last rights so you have adoption privileges in case the animal becomes scheduled to be put down.
5. Stray, unsocialized cats are at risk of being put down at animal shelters because they are unsuitable for adoption into homes. TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) is the most humane method of preventing feral cats and kittens from entering the shelter system. A local TNR program can help you with the trapping process. Read more about AFRP’s community cat TNR program.
6. If you find a litter of tiny kittens outdoors, resist the urge to pick them up. Leave the kittens alone and observe from a distance to see if the mother is around. The kittens have the best chance of survival if their mother is allowed to raise them until they are two months old, and then the entire litter can be trapped, neutered and returned. Read more about AFRP’s Feral Cat TNR Program here.
7. If you find tiny kittens that are distressed, meowing, sick, underweight or dehydrated, or know that their mother is deceased, contact your local animal rescue organization or feral community cat program for advice about intervening. AFRP has kitten foster homes available for underaged kittens found in Monterey County on a space-available basis. We can also offer advice and guidance if you would like to raise the kittens yourself. There is lots of good information online about caring for young kittens.