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Preventive measures – help get a lost pet home – microchip dogs and cats, tags on dogs with current information (cats generally do not like collars).  Keep cats inside at all times and dogs out in the yard – only when you can supervise.

Make sure children, visitors and workers at your home know the rules about your pet(s), especially about closing doors and gates securely behind them at all times (this seems to be one of the most common ways for pets to get out).  I always monitor workers in my house and keep an eye on the critters and when work has been done on my property, I never let dogs out in the yard until I have checked that gates are closed and locked.


Beware of scammers – if they cannot describe your pet beyond what is on the flyer or they don’t want to show an image of the pet, steer clear.

Don't give up too soon.  Sometimes it just takes a while for word to get around or an animal to show up somewhere.  We've heard stories of pets being found after months!  



Catch and confine the animal somewhere.  Reporting that you have seen a stray pet running down your street doesn’t do much good.  The animal is at great risk of being hit by a car or other mishap.  You can greatly help its chances of surviving and finding its owners by catching it.  Dogs often have ID tags on that have an address or phone number and are supposed to have County license tags on.  You can then call the County with the number to identify the owner.  You should also take it to your vet to have it scanned for a micro-chip as many pet owners are having these implanted in their pets now.

WARNING– Do not provide too much information in signs and ads; leave some specific info for a person to definitely identify the pet you have found or lost.  Unfortunately, there are people out there who sound very sincere, but only want a free animal to sell to research labs, and some really sick ones who get some kind of enjoyment out of telling people they have found their pet and it is being tortured or some such horrible thing.