I started the Colorado Lost & Found Pets page on Facebook about 6 years ago and WOW have I learned a bunch along the journey.
People are so distraught or worried when they post that they often neglect to give everyone great information to try to help spread the word and help with more pet and people reunions.
SIX THINGS TO DO RIGHT AWAY!
Act fast! Colorado shelters are, by law, only required to keep lost pets for 5 days. (If overcrowded.. some keep them for less)
SIX WAYS TO HELP YOU GET YOUR PET HOME IN COLORADO!: Whether you have lost a pet or found one, there are high tech & low tech tasks you should do right away
- HelpingLostPets.com Click this link and fill out the form. This puts your pet in a nationwide database and map, provides you with a flyer for printing to post in your neighborhood (old school still works!) and one to share online. Colorado Lost & Found pets will be emailed with that information and will post it to the Facebook page, added to the appropriate album. It will go out through both HeLP & the CO L&F Twitter feed. The posters also have a QR code.
- File a report with the Humane Society/Local Shelter. Some shelters allow this to be done online, but YOU should also go to the shelter. The shelters will often keep a list of animals not for public view. It also gives you a chance to go through their found/lost reports that are not usually online. Contact veterinary clinics in your area. Use their “Lost and Found” bulletin boards.
2. ONLINE! On Facebook, watch for your post yourself in your Colorado Lost & Found Pets Album post. Use that SAME file every time you share all over Facebook! This is SO IMPORTANT! The more that one image gets “liked and shared” the more powerful it is. Put that poster on YOUR facebook page.. Your friends might not know you are missing your dog.. Change your top banner & Profile photo to your LOST PET Photo!! Have more photos? add them in the comments of your pets album post. RESPOND to people’s questions and follow up on ALL leads ASAP
Check & register with www.fidofinder.com – www.petharbor.com & Helping Lost Pets. (If you didn’t do this in step 1)
Fido Finder has a $5 fee to upload a photo of your pet which makes your ad much more effective.
ADD YOURSELF TO THE PETHARBOR EMAIL LIST: CHECK AREA SHELTER by going to Petharbor.com Pet harbor will allow you to search at shelters within a 200-mile radius of your zip code. You can request to get a notification for new pets coming in.
(They also offer a service to send out postcard flyers to a certain zip code for a fee)
3. Next Door! Post your lost or found pet to the lost pets category on Next Door. These are your close neighbors so are most likely to help you find your lost pet.
4. CRAIGSLIST! This is a place a lot of people go to when a pet is lost/found.
Craigslist can be tricky when looking for or post a lost or found pet
WHEN POSTING: Be clear if you have FOUND a dog. Post in Lost and Found OR in Pets, or both. Include a picture. We know there is concern about someone claiming a dog that is not theirs but leaving a picture out makes it tough for the people who are sincerely trying to find their pet. There are other ways to confirm ownership.
WHEN SEARCHING: Some people will post “LOST DOG” when they FOUND a lost dog. The breeds can be wrong — we have seen a cattle dog listed as an American Bulldog before. They can also leave very vague posts– e.g. “I found a dog-call to describe” Same with cats.. you might not even know what “kind” of alley cat you own which is why I wrote this post: Guide to Alley Cats / Mixed Breeds by Color
NOTE: There have been some cases where dogs have been found being rehomed on Craigslist, so please keep an eye on all areas of Craigslist.
5. MICROCHIP! If you have found a pet…Have it Scanned for a Microchip at the local vet, shelter or Petsmart. If you have lost your pet, contact the company as they can often send out an alert (there might be a fee).
There are a few companies that do this. Most common is HomeAgainhttp://public.homeagain.com My favorite service is Petlink. They email me every quarter to remind me to update my information and it was a small one time fee. www.petlink.net Not sure if your pet’s chip is registered? Enter the number here to check: http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/
Some good insight from someone who lost their pet: “One problem we had that we didn’t know we had: Home Again never put our contact information in their system. When I called to alert them that we had a missing dog, they couldn’t help. I didn’t have the ID number. Check to see that the chip is registered! And make certain the second point of contact has the ID number.” Your Vet can check your chip for you to make sure it’s got the correct information on it.
6. FLYER FLYERS AND MORE FLYERS!!!!! OLD SCHOOL!
MOST Important!!! Post Flyers. Big Flyers. Let people know you are missing your pet. Unfortunately, some people will not call the Humane Society, and may not actively look for you, but if they see a flyer they may think twice about keeping your pet. Additionally, if one person in the family has decided to keep your pet, but someone else sees the sign they might act on getting your pet back. ( Remember, you got flyers in step #1)
Print Color Flyers with LARGE Letters a great Photo and your phone number. Make them easy to read! People will be driving by so if they can’t tell what it is then it’s not going to help you. Put the flyers in a sheet protector upside down and tape the bottom shut with duct tape. That way if Colorado weather happens, your posters won’t be soaked.
Here are a couple of links to help with flyers
Helping Lost Pets – This one not only provides flyers for print and online but it also registers the pet on the map and sends out alerts to pet lovers in your area and emails us.
Post fliers in a minimum 3-mile radius of where you lost your pet.
Hand out mini flyers (4 to a sheet) with a GOOD photo of the pet & your contact info door to door in your neighborhood. Larger flyers drop by businesses in your area, put up on bulletin boards. Time-consuming but effective. Talk to the delivery people in your area and hand them a small flyer!! Mail Carriers, UPS, FedX, Milk delivery, trash collectors… these people are in your neighborhood on a regular/daily basis…
Check “found” ads and take out a “lost” ad in your local newspaper. Many of them do this for free.
This article talks about the importance of flyers. In this electronic world we live in, often the low tech approach can be what brings our pets home.
6. SCENT!!! Dogs and Cats see the world with their noses. If you are missing a pet put something with a familiar scent in the area where they were lost, so they can track the scent and stay nearby. For cats litter boxes suggested & their beds, for dogs, we recommend a blanket or t-shirt (worn by someone they dog is bonded to). Put these in an area with water, and check back at varying times. If your pet was lost in a larger area, trying strips of a familiar blanket spread as sort of a breadcrumb trail.
Want to help us? We love Volunteers and always can use some help. Please click here to get some information about what is expected.
Here are some links to a little more information:
Tips on How to Find a Lost Dog
Finally, you may be considering keeping or rehoming the pet after searching for the owner. Please read this note about that here:
Don’t give up! Pets can be found months after they’re lost.
If you furkid is not there, then here is what you need to do.
HOW TO POST TO COLORADO LOST & FOUND PETS:
- Register your lost or found pet with HelpingLostPets.com you can use your poster online, and in your neighborhood. We will get a notification about your pet and will post to the page and add to the appropriate album. Watch for the post so you can tag yourself and answer any questions that may come up.
- Read the 6 things above!
We also support and recommend these community-specific pages on Facebook in Colorado
- Colorado Lost & Found Pets (All of Colorado but mostly Denver Metro / Boulder )
- Evergreen Conifer Morrison Pine & Bailey CO Lost & Found Pets
- Colorado Springs Lost Pet Alert
- Pueblo Colorado Lost Pet Alert
- Weld County
- Grand Junction
- Mesa County Lost & Found Pets
- Colorado Disaster Flood & Fire Lost & Founds
These are pages we recommend. There are a few groups throughout Colorado on Facebook, however, Groups are just NOT effective in helping with lost & found pets because they are limited with sharing to only those in the group and there is no way to keep the albums organized. It’s much better to support these large already established and well run pages than try to start up new ones on your own. Most of us are happy to have you help the admin team. 🙂
Read through more Tips by clicking the links below:
Lost Dog Phone App’s to Check out
- DogGoneMissing –
- Finding Rover – Facial recognition for dogs to reunite lost dogs with their owners. – Finding Rover Inc.
- PetRescuers by HomeAgain – Intervet International bv
- Dog Finder mobile – Angelo capilleri
- iPet Alert – JTApps
- Animal Help Now! – Animal Watch
- Dog Tracker Plus – Fetch Digital Ltd
We want to thank the many people who helped get all this information and methodology together including Marilyn Litt, the National Dog Examiner and the Volunteers from the Colorado Springs Lost Pet Alert who have mentored us and helped create this successful method to help people to be reunited with their pets.
Lost & Found Pet Facebook Pages across the U.S.
- Alaska (Anchorage area only)
- Arizona – Cats
- Arizona – Dogs
- Arkansas – Siloam Springs
- Arkansas – Lost & Found Pets ONWA
- Arkansas 2
- Arkansas – Northwest
- California – Dogs
- California – Cats
- California – Chino Valley
- California – Inland Empire
- California – Eastvale
- California – East Contra Costa County
- California – Southern
- California – West Contra Costa County
- Colorado – 1
- Colorado- 2
- District of Columbia (Washington DC)
- Florida – Hillsborough County, Tampa
- Hawaii (Oahu area only)
- Illinois – Dogs
- Illinois – Cats
- Maine – Cats
- Maine – Dogs
- Massachusetts Lost Dogs
- Massachusetts Missing Dogs
- Massachusetts – Cape Cod
- Michigan – Grand Rapids
- Michigan: Lost and Found Paws of the U.P.
- Michigan (Southern) and Northern Indiana – Michiana
- Minnesota – Lost Cats
- Minnesota – Lost Dogs
- New Jersey Lost Dogs
- New Jersey Lost & Found Pets
- New Mexico
- New York – Brooklyn
- New York – Finger Lakes
- New York – Hudson Valley
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- Virginia (Dogs)
- Virginia (Cats)
- Virginia – Prince William County
- Washington (State)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin – Lost Dogs
- Wisconsin – Lost Cats
- Lost and Found Pets of the Mid-South