Helpful Tips for Finding Your Pet

Pet identification

Be sure that your pet wears identification at all times. A collar and tags with your printed phone number is one practical solution.

We also suggest that you also have your pet micro-chipped. It is virtually painless and any vet can insert it for you. Microchips provide your contact information to any vet or shelter who scans your pet, and they can then contact you directly if your pet is surrendered or picked up by animal control staff.

Check with people in your neighborhood

Talk to your neighbors, mail carriers and newspaper delivery people. Anyone who spends time in your neighborhood might have seen your pet. Many neighborhoods have association emails that can help get the word out as well.

Make posters and flyers

Include a description and photo of your pet

Offer a reward. It doesn’t have to be large, but any reward may motivate people to help the search. Decide what you think is a fair amount.

Include your telephone number

PUT YOUR POSTER UP AROUND TOWN: Post it on street corners and in area shops and local schools. Many places like libraries, cafes and supermarkets have bulletin boards where you can post a lost pet notice.

FLYERS, FLYERS AND MORE FLYERS! We cannot stress the importance enough. Put them up everywhere! Hand them out to everyone!

Hire a local K9 search team

Dogs Finding Dogs strives to connect missing pet owners with legitimate, certified tracking dog teams. Thus, the national organization Missing Animal Scent Dog Network (MASDN) was formed.

MASDN was founded by a group of Private Investigators, Dog Trainers and K9 handlers working independently to locate and recover missing and lost pets. The group banded together to create and install Standards of Practice, Case Structure and Procedures as well as a Code of Ethics and Certification Standards for K9 Handlers and their dogs.

Before you hire a local tracking service, please check with MASDN, where you can find a list of qualified trackers in your area. If you want to become a certified K9 handler, MASDN will start the process with you. Visit to learn more.

Post notices on the internet

There are many different websites, such as local shelters websites, local Craigslist community pages and local Facebook pages that support lost pet listings. Use the same guidelines for posters when creating your post.

Visit local animal shelters

Visit the animal shelters in your county and any adjacent counties at least every 3 days. Check if they have your animal. If not, ask if you can leave a description along with your telephone number and/or a flyer in case your pet turns up there. Don’t just call, shelter workers do not know all the pets that are in the shelter, you need to go to the shelters in person.


Fido is running loose
and won’t come when
called!  Why?

by Anne Wills
The Virginia Maryland Dog, Summer 2014


Your Dog Has Gone
Missing. Now What?

by Anne Wills
The Virginia Maryland
Spring 2014


Sample Flyer / Poster