• Put a nametag on your pet's collar.

• Get a microchip for your pet from your veterinarian's office.


1) Foster it, if you can, until you find his owner or a new home.

2) Place advertisements. Call local newspapers and place a found pet advertisement in the classified section. Some publications offer free found ads.

3) Post signs with identifying information in the area the pet was found.

4) Contact the Metro Pet Tracker site on the Internet.

5) If no one claims the pet, try to find a home for him or her, screen interested parties, and call a local pet store and ask them if they have pet adoptions.


1) VISIT YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER - Every day or as often as possible, personally look in the shelter serving the area where your pet was lost. If your pet is found wearing a license or ID, you will be contacted. Animals without ID are held 5 days, then become available for adoption. Stray animals without ID that suffer from severe injuries or highly contagious diseases may be euthanized. (See Adoption/Centers for a listing of shelters in your area.)

2) INSPECT EVERY AREA OF THE SHELTER - check the medical room, quarantine room, observation area and, for dogs, the male and female kennels. During your search:

• Call out your pet’s name - it may respond to your voice.

• Count the cards on the cages; if you see three cards, be sure to see three animals. Visit the cat room even if you’re searching for a small dog - it may be temporarily housed there.

• Review the shelter’s computer printout of stray animals.

• Describe your pet to staff and volunteers; they may remember seeing your pet.

• Complete a "lost pet" form and post it - with a photograph - on the shelter’s Lost & Found Board Center. Be sure to advise personnel if any information changes. Also check the board’s Found listing.

3) Go on-line and put on Craigs List.

4) SEARCH A WIDE AREA - Your lost pet may wander for days or weeks before being picked up (dogs usually wander farther than cats). Remember that some people will not immediately take a lost pet to a shelter, but will keep it several days or weeks hoping to find the owner. As long as your pet is missing keep looking.

5) ADVERTISE - Place ads in local newspapers as often as possible. Watch the "found" ads and "pets for sale" ads closely. Most papers do not charge for "found" ads. Post flyers where legal. If you suspect your pet was stolen, file a report with the police, but keep looking in the shelters; the thief may turn the pet in, or the pet may escape and be brought into a shelter.

6) CALL DEAD ANIMAL PICK UP - Unfortunately, stray animals sometimes die in the streets. These animals are picked up by the Department of Sanitation (call 800-773-2489).

7) WHEN YOUR PET IS FOUND - If located at a City of Los Angeles Animal Services Center, you must show proof of ownership (photo, veterinary records, etc.) and you must pay impound boarding and medical fees.

After redemption, immediately place an ID tag with your name and telephone number on your pet’s collar (dogs must wear a license tag). This is the only way a shelter can contact you if your pet is lost again; licenses and ID tags on the shelf can’t help your pet when it’s lost.

Contact the staff and volunteers at shelters you visited – they’ll be happy you found your pet. As a courtesy, remove any posters and flyers from shelters, businesses, and neighborhoods.

If you lose a pet, calling a shelter is not sufficient. We strongly suggest that you visit each shelter daily, as pets are continually arriving at these shelters. Your pet may not have been found or delivered to a shelter at the time you called. You must follow up by actively seeking your pet in these shelters before it is too late.