Did the fireworks scare off your pup? Or did you find a dog, cat, or other pet roaming in your neighborhood? When it comes to lost and found pets, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do, where to post, and who to trust. Here’s a list of steps to take that will make things easier.
If You Found a Pet:
- Check to see if it has a phone number, name, or other contact information on a collar, tag, or tattoo.
- If there is contact information, utilize it to contact the owner.
- If there is no contact information, but there is an owner’s name, and the pet is a dog, call your city or town clerk’s office and ask them to look up the owner’s name in the dog registry. If you live on or near the border of two or more cities or towns, call all of them.
- Call local vets and shelters to give them a description of the pet you found, and email them details about where the pet was found, photos of the pet, and your contact information. They should also be able to help determine if the animal is microchipped.
- If you cannot succeed at steps 1 through 4, call the dog officer.
- In some situations, the dog officer or shelter will be able to take the dog within a couple of hours, but with other pets or at different times of the year, like July 5th, it can be more difficult to find spots.
- After all of the above steps, you should post about the pet on Facebook and to various lost-pet sites. (see below for a list).
If You Lost a Pet:
- Contact friends, family, and pet care providers (vets, groomers, pet sitters, and dog walkers) and let them know that your dog, cat, or other pet is missing.
- Call your microchip company to let them know your pet is lost.
- Contact the local shelters, rescues, and vet offices to see if any of them have heard about your pet. Provide them with your pet’s microchip information and offer to email them a photo. Ask if you can drop off a flyer and have it shared.
- Keep track of everyone you contact, and who contacts you, so you don’t duplicate. This way, you can also check in with them all for a follow-up in a few days, or when you find your pet. Google spreadsheets is a great free way to do this, especially if you have people helping you with the search.
- Submit your pet’s information and their picture to a variety of Facebook lost pet groups and the lost-pet pages. (see below for a list)
Useful Resources for Lost and Found Pets:
- https://www.facebook.com/groups/1016969391782385/ (for Parrots and other birds)
Local Animal Control:
- Worcester: (508) 799-1211 – http://www.worcesterma.gov/e-services/faqs/animal-control
- Holden: (508) 210-5600 option 1 – http://www.holdenma.gov/pages/animal-control#lost
- Paxton: (508) 791-6600 – http://www.townofpaxton.net/index.asp?SEC=A2508F92-7A84-4F5D-835B-13EA33B4D3F6&Type=B_BASIC
- Leicester: (508) 892-7010 – https://www.leicesterma.org/animal-control
- Auburn: (508) 832-7703 – http://www.auburnguide.com/Pages/AuburnMA_Dog/index
- Millbury (508) 234-7416 – http://www.millbury-ma.org/Public_Documents/MillburyMA_Animal/index
- Grafton: (508) 839-5547 – https://www.grafton-ma.gov/dog-officer
- Shrewsbury: (508) 841-8421 – https://shrewsburyma.gov/466/Animal-Control
- Boylston: (508) 869-2904 – https://www.boylston-ma.gov/animal-inspector-dog-officer
- West Boylston: (508) 210-5646 – https://www.westboylston-ma.gov/animal-control
Other Great Resources:
If you know of any other resources or websites I should add or edit, please, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can help keep our pets safe, and help bring them home!
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