What to do if you have lost or found a dog


Losing your dog can be devastating.  Here are some actions you can immediately take to help you bring your Fido home.

  • Immediately – Check your property and neighbours – look under anything your dog could hide under. 
  • Notify your local animal shelters, controls and humane societies, rescue groups, dog parks, groomers, doggie day cares, pet stores for miles around.
  • List your lost pet on www.helpinglostpets.com.  Email and twitter alerts will be sent to all members in the area.
  • Create a poster that you can place in high traffic areas and include a photo and distinguishing characteristics.  (Note: posters can be printed at www.helpinglostpets.com)
  • Get friends and family involved right away.  The more ground you cover, the sooner you spread the word far and wide.
  • Knock on doors if you need to!
  • Follow your regular dog’s walking route. Try to think of where your pet may go to feel safe.
  • Go to your local shelters and look for your pet.
  • Check on-line sites that have lost/found features.  Also check for pets for sale in case someone is trying to sell/adopt your pet.
  • If you are called with a sighting, confirm the pet’s description and size.   Ask questions before you send your searchers to the new location.
  • If you get a confirmed sighting, have someone go immediately.  Dogs can travel far in just an hour.


  • If the lost/stray dog approaches you, be cautious.  If it is a friendly dog, use good judgment if you are going to slowly take hold of the collar or leash.
  • If they growl or become panicked/aggressive, stop what you are doing and stand back.  If you offer food, place a small amount on the ground.  Do not look them directly in the eye – they may interpret this as aggression.   Notify your local  humane society or SPCA.
  • If you can leash them, check for tags and call all numbers.
  • If there is no contact information notify your local animal shelters, controls and humane societies
  • Take the pet to a veterinarian or animal shelter to be scanned for a microchip

 We can’t say enough good things about PET IDENTIFICATION

  • Microchip your pet and update the information with the service provider EVERY TIME you change a phone number or address.
  • License your pet with your municipality and keep this tag on the pet’s collar/harness at all times and update your phone and address information immediately.
  • Have another ID tag on the dog’s leash, in case the collar breaks free and is lost.
  • Check tags regularly for wear and tear.  Are the phone numbers legible?


Information supplied by Helping Lost Pets

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