- Act Fast! Don’t waste time thinking your pet will come home on his/her own. The sooner you begin your search, the better your odds.
- Search inside your home. Sometimes they can slip back in unknown to you and hide in unexpected places. Cats, in particular, can get into very small spaces.
- Search the neighborhood surrounding your home as your pet may not have traveled far. Call your pet’s name and check any places she could have become trapped, such as in garages or under vehicles. A lost pet often will hide during the day, so be sure to go out again at night with a flashlight and call for him or her and then again first thing in the morning when it’s quiet. Ask your neighbors, postal carriers, and delivery drivers if they have seen an animal matching your pet's description.
- If you have recently moved, check your old neighborhood. Many pets have been known to find their way to their previous home. Also alert previous neighbors to keep an eye out. Leave them your phone number in case they see anything.
- Also look high and low. Cats can and will climb trees. and drainage systems can feel like a safe hiding place.
- Leave out food and water to attract them home. Leave it in a safe and comfortable place with their favorite bedding and/or toys.
- Make noises that are familiar to home, including food, special tones or whistles, their favorite toy, etc.
- If your pet is wearing ID with your phone number on it, make sure you are available to answer your phone. Cellular phone numbers are the best numbers to list on ID tags.
- Be persistent! Often times, well meaning people will keep a lost pet at their house before turning them into the animal shelter.
- Visit your local Animal Shelter. If you are in Buncombe County, you may visit the Buncombe County Animal Shelter or call them at 828-250-6430. Animal Services Officers pick up many lost pets every day and they may have already picked up yours. Only you can positively identify your lost pet. Make sure to check every 24-48 hours. Unlicensed, stray dogs and cats are only required to be held for 72 hours so time is of the essence!
- Asheville Humane Society also has postings for lost pets and allows you to post to their website. Their number is 828-761-2001.
- Be as descriptive as possible, so they are more likely to make a correct identification.
- Complete a lost pet report and attach a picture in our lost pets section here. And check our found pet section as well.
- If your pet is microchipped, register the microchip number with your most updated contact information. It is usually best to include a cellular number so that if you are out looking for your pet, someone can get a hold of you.
- Continue checking with your local shelter and keeping up to date on the daily listing of found animals.
- Make "Lost Pet" flyers with a picture of your pet and post them around your neighborhood and bulletin boards in the local grocery stores and feed stores. To make a lost pet flyer, click here.
Here are some good lost pet flyer tips from Missing Pet Partnership :
- Make them GIANT so that people driving by cannot miss them.
- Make them FLUORESCENT so that the color attracts the attention of everyone.
- Put them at major intersections near where you lost your pet (and in areas of sightings).
- Keep them BRIEF and to the point.
- Let them convey a VISUAL IMAGE of what you have lost.
- Use social media to your advantage. Post pictures and a description and location to our Facebook
- Check with other local Veterinarians to see if someone has brought in a found pet.
- Advertise in the lost pet section of your local newspapers and check the found pet’s column.
- Advertise on Craigslist in the lost/found pets section and keep checking. Beware of scammers though! Be sure you don’t go to a home without a companion.
- There are many sites on the internet you can check. Just type in "Lost Pets" or "Missing Pets" on your favorite search engine.\
- Respond to any that might be close to your pet’s description. A week of wandering the streets can make white pets look drab gray, and the ad’s description might not exactly fit.
Other area publications to look into include:
Whatever you do, don't give up!
You can list your pets with one of these services that will call your neighbors with your lost pet’s information (for a fee):
- Pet Amber Alert *Also faxes vets!
- Lost My Doggie
- Find Toto
- The Center for Lost Pets
- Fido Finder
- Lost My Doggie
You can find more lost pet tips on some of these great sites: