I Lost a Pet
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY DOG OR CAT GETS LOST?
Pets can go missing quickly, whether through an open door or gate at home or when frightened by loud noises, and it can be a traumatic experience for both pets and the people who love them. Here are some tips to help you find your pet.
- Search your neighborhood and engage the community. Walk or drive through your neighborhood and post flyers in surrounding areas. Ask neighbors, letter carriers, and delivery drivers if they have seen your pet. According to an ASPCA survey, about half of missing dogs and a third of missing cats were found by searching their local neighborhoods.
- Utilize social media. Post a photo and description on LA City Lost and Found Pets, Nextdoor.com, or Pawboost.com or upload a photo of your pet on Petco Love Lost, a searchable national database that uses facial recognition technology.
- Contact your nearest shelter. View the Lost Pet Search on our website to check if your lost pet is at one of our Centers.
- Ensure your pet is microchipped and you dog is wearing a LA City license tag w/your contact info. Make sure the contact number linked to your pet’s microchip is up-to-date. If your pet is not microchipped, you may contact us to schedule an appointment to microchip your animal companion.
- Be wary of pet recovery scams and people who insist that you give or wire them money in advance before they’ll return your pet. Ask them to send you a photo of your pet to see if they have your pet. If they refuse, they may not have your pet.
Additional websites to check for lost pets:
Don’t give up:
- Sometimes scared animals hide and it takes them a while to let anyone see them. Some even hide in a neighbors garage.
- Spayed and neutered pets tend to stay closer to home. It’s also the law in the City of Los Angeles to spay and neuter your pets.
- Check with veterinarians in the area your pet was lost to see if any injured animals have been turned in.
- Your dog or cat may be scared and may not photograph well, so we recommend visiting and looking for yourself.
- Keep checking the shelters daily. Be sure to check the hospital ward and isolation areas in addition to the regular kennel areas for your pet. In order to redeem your pet, you must present proof of ownership. Proof may include photos, vaccination records, or adoption certificates, among others. You also must present a valid form of government-issued photo identification (i.e. drivers license).*
- Put signs up near where the dog was lost with a picture of him/her. Offer a reward and use bold headlines like “LOST DOG” or “MISSING CAT.”
Before your companion gets lost, take these steps:
Dogs should be licensed and microchipped and your contact information should be updated any time you move or change phone numbers.
Cats are not required to have a license in the City of Los Angeles, but they should be microchipped and your contact information should be updated any time you move or change phone numbers.
*If your pet is currently at one of our facilities, you will need to pay impound and other fees before he or she can be released to you. Redemption fees vary based on the type of animal, the number of times the animal has been redeemed (dogs), the amount of time your animal has been in our facility, and whether any veterinary services have been provided. To find out what it will cost to release your pet, please contact the Animal Shelter where your pet is located.
You can also register your missing animal with our lost pet registration service.
Click here for a service provided by pethabor.com to search for your lost your dog
Click here for a service provided by pethabor.com to search for your cat
Click here for a service provided by pethabor.com to search for other pets
You will be emailed automatically when an animal matching the description you provide is registered as FOUND or shows up at one the Los Angeles Animal Services Center. Emails are sent once per day and registration is valid for 30 days.