Look for your pet:

The first thing you should do is canvas the area where your pet was lost. Ask friends or neighbors to help you--more eyes are always better if you have them. Try not to panic, and stay calm so you can think clearly as you search for your pet.

It's important to note that many indoor cats are often found hiding very close to home but may not come out to your calls, so be sure to check under porches, in bushes and in any good hiding spots nearby.

tell as many people as you can:

If you are unable to find your pet after looking for them in the area where they were lost, let as many people as you can know that you're looking for your pet:

1. File a lost pet report with the closest animal control agency as well as with any other agencies within a 60-mile radius. After filing the report, check in with them periodically to see if any of the animals in their care match your pet's description. Some of the information animal control will ask you when filing a lost pet report includes:

  • Pet's Name
  • Pet's Sex (male/female)
  • Pet's Size (approximate weight) 
  • Pet's Color
  • Pet's Breed (or approximate breeds)
  • Whether your Pet is Wearing a Collar
  • Whether your Pet is Spayed/Neutered
  • Whether your Pet has a Microchip (provide microchip number if you have it)
  • Pet's Personality (how they might act when approached by strangers)
  • The Address or Street Where They Became Lost
  • Your Contact Information 

2. Print and post flyers in the area where your pet became lost, as well as at local pet stores, veterinary offices or businesses nearby. Pet FBI has a free flyer template online that you can use that's easy and quick.

3. Share photos with information about your lost pet as well as your contact information on social media. Social media is a quick way to let a lot of people know to be looking for your pet. Be sure your lost pet post is public so that people can help share it. You can post it to your personal page as well as local community pages such as Lost and Found Pets of Athens, GA. Keep posting periodically to remind people that you're still searching for your pet.

Don't give up:

Losing a pet can be an emotional event, but don't give up! Keep looking for your pet in the area where they were lost, and keep checking with animal control and posting on social media. Many pets are reunited after weeks, months or even years. 

If you are reunited with your pet, let animal control know so they can cancel your lost pet report, remove posted flyers, and update social media posts to let people know to cancel their search and discontinue sharing.

BE Aware:

Be aware of potential pet-recovery scams. Though most people are good-natured and want to help, there are some who may use this vulnerable time to take advantage of people. If someone contacts you and says they have your pet, ask them to describe the animal in detail including any identifying characteristics. Consider meeting in a public space to retrieve your pet if it sounds like they indeed have your pet. 

If someone asks you to transfer them reward money before meeting you with your pet, it is likely a pet-recovery scam that you should be wary of and should report if possible.