If you've lost or found a pet, the following tips can help you to find the pet or owner:
1. Posting a picture and/ or giving a good description online in local pet and for sale groups is now the best way to find your lost pet or find the owner of a pet you found. Leaving out a few key details to ensure anyone claiming the pet is truly the owner is always a good idea, but please post the size, color, hair type, location lost/ found, breed or mix if you know it, etc.
Post them on our local pet group, Jay County Pet Connection, here:
These are Indiana Lost and Found Pet groups:
Be sure to also check our Facebook page, as well as the Humane Society and the Animal Control's Pages, as many people now list lost and found pets on them:
If there is not a message about the pet up yet, please post one.
2. Call the local radio Station, WPGW, at (260) 726-8780 to advertise on the Second Hand Store (it's free). Also, be sure to listen to the Second Hand Store or have someone listen for you, to see if someone has lost or found the pet. The show is aired on 100.9 FM or 1440 AM each weekday morning, starting around 9:15. It is also aired each weeknight around 5:45, and on Saturday mornings around 8:45. Many times we have heard an animal advertised as lost, and later in the show an animal matching that description as found. Sometimes these ads go on for days, because neither person is actually listening to the show!
3. Call Bill Fields (the Jay County Animal Control Officer) at (260) 726-4365.
4. Call the Jay County Humane Society at (260) 726-6339.
Please make these calls as soon as the animal is missing, not days or weeks later. Shelters in Indiana are only required to keep found pets for 2-3 days, so the animal may be already adopted to another family or euthanized if you don't notify them quickly! Keep calling, in case your pet shows up or the owner calls looking for it. You also should go to local shelters and look for yourself if you've lost a pet, bringing a picture with you. Sometimes your perception of an animal and the shelter's is very different, so they might not think it is there when it really is. Post a flyer at the shelter if possible.
NOTE: You are NOT allowed to give a found pet away to anyone but the owner or a local shelter or rescue until 5 days have passed and you have made every effort to find the owner, including notifying both animal control and the humane society. Finders are required BY LAW to notify the local shelters within 48 hours. Pets are considered property (as well as being considered family members by most owners, and much missed), so giving them to someone who wants them without trying to find the owner could be considered dealing in stolen property.
5. Call all the vets in the area. If a lost pet is hurt, it may end up at the vet's office. If you've found a pet, they may recognize it if it's a patient of theirs. And if the pet is microchipped, they have scanners to read the information from the chip.
6. Ask your neighbors, especially children. Lots of people see stray pets and leave them alone, assuming it will go home. They may be able to tell you where they saw it. Kids can be especially helpful when it comes to animals, as most children love them, pay attention to where they see them, and like to help!
7. Make flyers/ posters, with a picture if possible. You can get cheap prints at CVS or Wal Mart, and a good, clear picture is much more help than any description. Use a close up picture of their face and also a side view. Post them everywhere, including light poles in your neighborhood, on bulletin boards at local businesses, at the vet's office, at the Jay County Humane Society, and you can even take one out to Bill Field's house, just in case he's seen the animal.
8. Here are a few links to other sites with information on finding lost pets:
Tips on finding lost pets: http://www.pet-detective.com/searchtips.html
How to find a missing cat: http://www.sonic.net/~pauline/search.html
Lost pet flyers: http://www.pet-detective.com/flyers.html
Bird Hotline (How to find a Missing Bird): http://www.birdhotline.com/
Make sure your dog is always wearing a collar with ID on it. Rabies tags can usually be used to trace an owner if you call the vet listed on the tag and give them the number. But the best tag to have is a personalized one with your name, address and phone number on it! You can get them for very little money on ebay now, or have one printed on the machine at Wal Mart.
Take a few good, clear pictures of your pet, from the front and the side. These can be used later to identify the pet if it is lost or stolen.
You can also get your dog or cat microchipped. All the shelters and vets in our area now have scanners for microchips, and some vets offer the service.
Tattoos are very hard to trace, so they are not recommended.