Lost a Pet? We're here to help.

Losing your pet can be a scary and heartbreaking experience. By following the steps below right away, you’ll have the best possible chance of being reunited with your beloved pet. However, if you don’t find your pet quickly, do not give up! Pets are often found weeks or even months after they go missing.

Taking swift action can help you find your pet. Start your search as soon as you discover that your pet has gone missing. Here are some steps to get you started.

For questions regarding lost and found pets, please email our admissions team: [email protected].

You can also check out community Lost and Found Facebook pages here:

Within the First Hour

  1. Immediately alert your neighbors about your lost pet via the methods your community uses most to communicate.
  2. This could include Nextdoor, a neighborhood email list, or the Facebook groups above!
  3. Be sure to include a description of your pet (color, size, male/female), last known location or closest intersection, and a photo.
  4. If your pet has a microchip, contact the microchip company right away to report them as lost, and update your contact information if needed.
  5. Place something that they love and has familiar smells - their bed, a favorite blanket, etc outside in a covered area to lead them back home.

Within the Next Few Hours

  1. Post on Petco Love Lost (https://lost.petcolove.org/)
    • Upload your lost pet's photo to Petco Love Lost, a LifeLine partner that provides free facial recognition software to reunite lost pets with their owners. Your pet's uploaded photo will be scanned against photos of found animals at shelters and those reported by the community
  2. Set up a PawBoost Alert
  3. Walk the neighborhood. If you have multiple pets that get along, walking your other pet with you can help encourage your pet to reveal themselves if hiding.

Within the First 24 Hours

  1. Visit your county animal shelter to look for your pet. At our KCHA, you may ask staff to assist you in walking through the shelter, since they can access staff-only areas.
  2. Please have a photo of your pet ready, and give a flyer to the front desk staff if you have one.
  3. We may not recognize your pet from the flyer if they come in at a later date so be sure to visit the shelter as frequently as you can.
  4. Hang lost pet posters. Check out our poster creation tips below. Then hang the poster with duct tape at major intersections within a 3-mile radius of where your dog was lost or 1-mile radius of where your cat was lost. Once your pet is found, retrieve your lost pet posters from wherever you hung them.
  5. Look for your pet frequently on our website.
  6. If you see your pet's photo, please call the shelter where the pet is located, immediately. Keep in mind that your pet will be listed under a different shelter name.

Lost Pet Resources

Flyer & Poster Creation Tips

PetFBI has an easy online lost pet flyer template that you can print from home! If you need help creating and printing a flyer, a LifeLine Community Support Coordinator can assist you at our shelter.
When creating a poster, use a half-page, brightly-colored poster board and include a clear photo of your pet. Use extremely large lettering with concise information, such as, “LOST SMALL WHITE MALE DOG, Call 404-xxx-xxxx.”

Missing Animal Response Network

Missing Animal Response Network has more tips on finding your dog or cat, including examples of lost pet signs, lost dog and cat behavior and when you should use a trap.

Trapping Your Lost Cat

If you decide to trap your cat, you can borrow a trap from KCHA, if available, with a refundable deposit. If all traps are loaned out, consider purchasing a 30LTD - Light Duty Animal Trap at your local home improvement store and donating it afterwards. This donation is tax deductible.

Don't Give Up!

Finding a lost pet can take time. So start searching immediately and often. Animals that are lost may still be close to home.

Avoiding Lost Pet Scams

Unfortunately, there are scams that target the heartbroken owners of missing pets. When searching for your pet, please be hyper aware of potential scams. A few tips and common red flags are below. Find even more detailed information here from Petco Love.

  • Never send money to someone you do not know.
    Whether under the guise of a pet recovery service or person who claims to know where your pet is, scammers will request money in order to help. Any requests for money up front are big red flags for a scam. If someone claims to have your pet and is requesting money, whether as a threat, fee, or even if they claim to need to pay for vet care, request a photo of your pet. If they refuse, this is a red flag. They do not have your pet and are simply trying to get you to send them money.
  • Never send a confirmation code.
    Some scammers may attempt to gain access to your personal accounts this way. If someone texts you about your lost pet and asks for a confirmation code that you received in another text, do not send the code to them.
  • Be wary of those offering or recommending pet recovery services in social media messages or comments.
    Check their references and verify their training. Search the Missing Animal Response network directory to find trained individuals or verify contact information.

Once You Find Your Pet

Keep your pet indoors or safely confined to a fenced area.


Having your pet microchipped is a quick, painless and easy way to ensure that if your pet gets loose, you will be contacted if they come into a shelter. You can have your pet microchipped at LifeLine’s Clinics or at any veterinarian’s office. Keep your microchip information updated if you move.


Inexpensive tags can be purchased from local pet stores. Include your phone number and address. Get a new tag each time you move or change phone numbers.


Unaltered pets have hormonal instincts to seek out a mate when in heat. In order to prevent this, have your pet spayed or neutered. LifeLine provides low-cost spay and neuter services.