Losing a pet is traumatic. Microchipping your pet can greatly increase the chance you'll find your pet and minimize the time it takes. The following tips on whom to call and what to do may also help you locate your beloved furry friend. Start sooner rather than later and never give up.
Whom to Call
Animal Control Agencies
Call your town's Animal Control Officer (and/or Police Station) and file a lost pet report. Provide an accurate description and recent photograph of your pet. To find your local Massachusetts ACO click here or here. You can also check your phone book or contact your City Hall or Police Department.
SABER ALERT - Safe Animal Broadcast Emergency Response or SABER Alerts are sent out to all animal control officers who are members of ACOAM.
Call and file a lost pet report with every shelter within a 60-mile radius of your home. If possible, visit the nearest shelters. Shelters maintain lists of found pets. Many shelters are online as well. Click here to search for animal welfare groups in your area.
What to Do
In addition to a photo of your pet, your advertisement should include the following:
- Breed (ex: Lab, Domestic Short-hair) and purebred/mixed status on dogs
- Color pattern (click here to see cat colors and breeds)
- Age and size
- Sex, including if they are or are not spayed/neutered
- Any distinctive markings your pet may have, (color markings, eye color, scars, etc.)
- If they were or were not wearing a collar/tags or have a microchip
- Where (town, street name) and when they were last seen
- Your name and phone number
Post notices at local stores, cafes, traffic intersections, and around surrounding neighborhoods. Facebook is another great tool to help spread the word about your missing pet - create a page or flyer and ask friends to share it.
For more tips on creating an effective poster, click here.
Search the Internet
The following may be helpful resources in locating your lost pet:
Microchipping Your Pet
A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the same size as a grain of rice. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radiowaves put out by the scanner activate the chip. The chip transmits the identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen.
When an animal is found and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, one of the first things they do is scan the animal for a microchip. If they find a microchip, and if the microchip registry has accurate information, they can quickly find the animal's owner.
Click Here for additional Microchipping FAQ.