Lost your pet?  The following steps might help you reunite with your missing friend:

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1)    Time is the most important factor.  The sooner you can start a search, the better.  Call friends or family members that the animal is familiar with to help you search.  The more people looking, the better your chances are of finding her!  Bring along treats or favorite toys to help entice him back.

2)    Create fliers with a photo of your pet, and distribute it to EVERY house and business in the area your pet was lost.  Leave them behind when no one is home.

3)    Hang posters throughout the area, especially on busy streets.  Include a photo if possible and use large bold lettering so people can read the information from their cars.  Offer a generous reward.

4)    Check your local animal shelter and register your pet as lost.  Don’t forget to check the hospital ward and isolation areas.  

5)    Visit as many different animal care centers as you can.  Sometimes animals cross city or county lines and might get taken to shelters outside your immediate area.  Ask the shelters how long they hold lost pets so you know how often to visit.  Check back at care centers several times a week if possible.  Even if you have him registered as Lost, shelters are often understaffed and your pet might get overlooked upon arrival.

6)    Call local vets offices to see if any injured pets have been brought in matching his description. 

7)    Place a Lost Dog ad in your local paper.

8)    Contact an organization offering lost pet recovery services.

9)    Increase the size of your search area as time goes on if your pet remains lost.  Animals can travel quite far when they’re frightened, sometimes running for miles.  If your pet is naturally aloof with strangers, fearful or under-socialized, they’re likely to travel greater distances before being caught.

10) Keep in mind, you might need to edit your pet’s description over time.  The longer he’s missing, the more his appearance might change – he might lose a significant amount of weight, his coat might become long and shaggy, and dirt might change his coloring.

11)  Don’t give up hope!  Many pets get reunited with their owners after missing for many months, or even years.  Never stop searching for your pet – they’re dependent on you to get back home.



Enter your lost pet’s information on their website, and they will automatically call neighborhood residents alerting them to your lost pet and his description within an hour.  The number of neighbors contacted vary from 500 to 10,000 depending on your price range.  They claim an 85% success rate.



Landa Coldiron is a certified MAR Technician who has successfully recovered both lost dogs and lost cats. Her Bloodhound Ellie Mae is certified by MAR in both cat detection and MAR trailing work.  She also offers location checks to determine the validity of a sighting and confirm whether a lost dog has been in a particular area.  Landa also offers lost cat services by trailing the scent of cats displaced into unfamiliar territories, physical searches using an amplified listening device and humane traps, poster placement services, and shelter check services. Landa is willing to travel throughout California (and other Western USA states) to work cases.


www.laanimalservices.com -  Los Angeles Animal Services

You can search for your missing pet on their website.  You can also register your lost pet on their lost pet registration service; they will automatically email you when an animal comes in to the care center matching your description or is registered as FOUND.  Registration is valid for 30 days, and emails are sent once per day.


Tips to prevent this from happening again in the future

1) Make sure your pets wear proper identification at all times.  This includes a current license tag as well as an ID tag.  Make sure info is kept up to date, and preferably include 2 – 3 contact numbers.  They also make collars with phone numbers printed directly onto the collar.  Make sure to include indoor only cats - accidents can happen anytime. 

2)    Microchip your pets, and keep the info updated. 

3)    Teach your dog an emergency recall word.  This is different from a regular Come or Here command.  Even if you don’t let your dog off leash, animals often slip their collars, leashes malfunction, or they can slip out open doors.  Make sure your pet will turn on a dime to come racing back when you use this special recall word.  (See our training section for tips.)

4)    Keep a list of shelters in your area so you have them ready in an emergency.

5)    Keep a current photo of your pet.  Ideally, you can make emergency fliers now and have them printed up so they’re ready to grab in an emergency.

6)    Place locks on gates to prevent accidental escape from your yard, and patch any existing holes in the fence immediately.