Finding a lost pet often seems to depend on luck, it is luck you can help make. There are no guarantees, but there are things you can do that make a difference.
1) Knock on Doors and Talk to Your Neighbors.
Most people walk the streets around their home and call their pet. Knock on your neighbor’s doors and ask if anyone has seen your pet to increase the odds.
2) Handout and Post Flyers With Your Pet’s Name, Picture and Your Phone Number.
Flyers need to have a clear photo of the animal and a telephone number that someone will answer or that is hooked to an answering machine. Having a current, clear picture of your pet makes it easier to recognize. Ask businesses that people who live in the area are likely to use to put up a copy of your flyer. This includes gas stations, fast food restaurants, taverns and convenience and grocery stores. Ask if you can put a copy of your flyer up in the pet food aisle. If someone picks up your animal and holds it for a few days hoping you will find them just as your pet did, they will need food.
3) Go to ALL Local Shelters With Your Flyer and Also Look for Yourself, at Least Every Other Day.
Calling Animal Control or the animal shelters on the phone is not always sufficient. Your pet may not yet be listed in the records and the way you describe your pet may not be the way a shelter describes your pet. Any animal can become dirty, matted and neglected looking very quickly and you must visit the shelter, even if your pet was wearing tags when it was lost.
You will need to go to the shelters at least every other day. Local shelters keep impounded animals for 72 hours before they become adoptable. Sometimes it takes more than a few days for a pet to be picked up and brought to a shelter.
Visit all shelters within 20 miles of where your pet was lost. In many areas stray animals are picked up by a government agency who turns them over to a shelter. If someone took your pet in for a few days hoping you would knock on their door and ask about it, they might later drop your pet off at the shelter that’s most convenient for them, rather the one that’s closest.
Contact local rescue organizations and give them copies of your flyer. People who are afraid animals will be euthanized if they turn them over to the shelter might contact a rescue, and rescue people often go through local shelters looking for animals they can help place in new homes. Ask the shelters if they know of anyone doing rescue in the area, even if they don’t work with them.
4) Put a Lost Ad in Your Local Paper, in the papers in surrounding areas and online with CraigsList or other local sites. Some people only look in the newspaper to locate an animal’s owner. Advertising in the paper can also be important to establish you were actively looking for your pet in case someone were to claim it you meant to give it up or didn’t want it and it’s free.
Combining these things is most effective. Knocking on doors and handing out copies of your flier to your neighbors and to the staff at all the local shelters is the most effective way of looking for your lost pet.
Give copies of your flyer to veterinarians, groomers, trainers and pet stores and ask them to put them up.
Your Local Animal Shelter is Grant County Animal Outreach at the Moses Lake Animal Shelter 509-762-9616 or 6725 Randolph Road NW, Moses Lake, WA 98837. You can easliy report lost or found pets through our contact page or via email. Another resource is the Lost and Found Pets of Grant County Facebook page. See also the Moses Lake Police Department Lost & Found Pets Facebook page.
Animal Control is reported through MACC Dispatch at 509-762-1160.