Your pet is missing. First things first - don't panic. You need to keep calm so that you are able to do whatever is necessary to locate your pet.
Tips for Finding your Lost Pet
1. Search your neighborhood immediately. Don’t wait around to see if he or she will find his way home. If your pet hasn't been missing that long, chances are they could still be loitering around the area. Walk or bike around, call your pet by name out and listen for them. They could have gotten trapped or caught up somewhere. If you can, enlist the help of as many friends and family as you can to canvas the neighborhood in all directions.
You may also drive around, but you could miss hearing or seeing signs of them. If you are calling your pet from your car, drive slowly, roll down all the windows, stop and turn your vehicle off frequently to listen. The best time to search and call out to your pet is at night or at dawn - so you can hear faint barks/meows or whimpers.
2. Check the local animal shelter. People usually take pets they have found straight to the shelter. Find out if a good samaritan has brought your pet in. In any case, you would need to inform the shelter that you have a lost pet so that they can keep an eye out for incoming pets that match your pet's description. It is important to head to the shelter as soon as possible so that you can get your pet back safe and sound.
After checking the shelter:
- Contact all veterinary clinics, including emergency veterinary hospitals outside your local area. Sometimes people pick up a stray and drive it to a distant clinic.
- Contact adoption centers, rescue groups, local kennels. You can call or drop by our Adoption Center to check if anybody has brought a pet in that matches your pet's description.
Visit the shelters daily (if possible) to see if your pet has wound up there. Go through each animal to visually identify your pet. You know your pet best.
3. Check the microchip. If your pet has a microchip, he/she will be scanned to reveal their ID number which links to your contact information- make sure this is always up-to-date! Let the microchip company know your pet is missing. Keep your phone with you at all times in case you get a call.
4. Notify everyone! The more people who know your pet is lost the greater the chances that someone will be on the lookout for your pet and bring them back home safely.
Here are some ways you can notify the public about your lost pet:
- SPREAD POSTERS. Keep it simple: “LOST DOG/CAT!” - at the top - large, easy to read, (from a moving vehicle) bold letters and post them around the neighborhood. Print it in color if you can. Include the following:
- A brief description or breed: “Beige, wire-haired terrier ” or “Striped grey and black short-haired cat “. Don’t assume that people will know your breed, always include a description.
- A good quality photo of your pet clearly showing their face and whole body(recommended)
- Animal’s name - it makes it easier for someone to call your pet over and capture it.
- Offer a reward, but don’t state how much
- Include your phone number in large numbers at the bottom of the poster.
Alternatively, you can use this free template to from Pet FBI to create your poster: Lost Pet Poster Template***
- LEAVE INDEX CARDS WITH YOUR CONTACT INFO. Include the same information as your posters. Knock on every home in every direction from the site of where your pet disappeared. If nobody's home, leave the cards at each home or on cars.
- POST ON THE INTERNET. Many websites can aid your search, pawboost.com is an excellent tool which we highly recommend for the Midland area! SEE HELPFUL RESOURCES SECTION BELOW.
- USE THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Social networks like Facebook & Twitter effectively expand your reach so that more people are aware about your lost pet. SEE HELPFUL RESOURCES SECTION BELOW for local Facebook pages.
More helpful tips for the search for your lost pet:
- Cats and dogs are unpredictable. They can get themselves in unimaginable situations. Try everything, look everywhere, tell everyone. Don't leave a single alley or street unchecked. Your pet is constantly on the move so it may help to check areas multiple times in case they circle back.
- Be persistent. Don't give up on your pet so easily. If you can't find your pet in one day, do it all again the next day. And the day after. Do your daily neighborhood rounds, visit the shelter and local rescues.
- Even the friendliest, gentlest pet may quickly turn wild and frenzied when they are terrified. Your friendly pet, when lost, may hide and run away from people; he may even run away from you. Don’t chase after your lost pet – they have a tendency to run farther away when scared. Instead, sit on the ground slowly. Talk in normal tones while repeating your pet's name and familiar phrases over and over again. Your calm demeanor will help coax your pet towards you.
- In rare cases, you may need to rent or purchase a Humane Live trap, and set it to capture a terrified lost pet. Local animal shelters often rent or loan these, and will have an appropriate size for a dog or a cat. MHC has live traps available for rent specifically for cats and small dogs.
- Bring a leash with you during your search. A slip lead works best in case your pet doesn't have a collar on.
- Bring your pet's favorite treats on your search. You can use this to lure your frightened, most likely starving pet in.
- Familiar smells can help guide your pet home. Leave an unwashed article clothing outside your house so your pet can pick up your scent. Put a bowl of pet food or your cat's litter box outside.
- Leave a bowl of food and water out for your pet.
- Leave your pet's crate or bedding outside where it is accessible.
- Leave your fence/gate (how your pet usually comes in and out of your house) open so your pet can wander in should they happen to find their way home.
- DON’T GIVE UP! Keep doing your rounds in the neighborhood and at shelters.
The internet is your best tool in reuniting your found pet with his/her owner.
Websites where you can post the pet's information:
- pawboost.com - *highly recommended for Midland/Odessa area
Best local Facebook Pages & Groups where you can post lost & found pets in Midland & area:
- Pets Around Midland TX
- Lost & Found Dogs, Cats and Other Pets of Midland, TX
- Speaking Up for Those Who Can’t
- MASA - Midland Animal Shelter Adoptables
- Midland/Odessa Texas Lost And Found Pets
- Midland TX Rescue Dogs
- SHOW ME YOUR PITTIES....Animal Lovers United of the Permian Basin
- West Texas Animal Advocates
- West Texas Pet Detectives
- Perky Paws Rescue
We wish you the best of luck in finding your pet.
As a future precaution:
Always make sure your pets are wearing a collar with identification tags.
Microchipping is an excellent form of identification -- it is a permanent ID for your pet. You need to make sure your pets microchip information has been registered and that your contact information is up-to-date. Learn more about microchips here.
Do you have any more questions?
We will be happy to answer your questions! Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. For your convenience, here is our Contact Form.