Lost & Found
If you have found a lost or stray pet, please make sure the pet is safe and secure, out of harm's way, and then check the animals for any ID tags. A rabies tag will usually contain a vet's number and also a tag number. This information can help the vet locate the information for the owner. If there is no ID tag, contact your local law enforcement agency first for assistance. They will then give you further instructions.
Lost pets have a better chance of being reunited with their owners when they are turned in to the animal control agency in the area where found. The owner of the pet you found may already be looking for them, too. You can check the "lost" posts on the IA Pet Alert site and also our Guthrie County, Iowa - Lost and Found Pet Alert page on Facebook. If you don't see the pet listed, please submit the requested info so that the information can also be posted on these sites. We have had great success in reuniting lost pets with their owners in Guthrie County by using our Facebook page.
Pets can travel a great distance very fast, either on their own or with human intervention. Therefore, owners of missing pets should initially extend their search to at least a 50-mile radius. Pet owners should persist in efforts to locate their companion animals. The following are some tips for finding your lost pet:
1. Walk and drive through your neighborhood looking for and calling your pet as soon as you realize your pet is missing. Be sure to tell everyone in the area that your pet is missing. If your pet is frightened or injured, it may be hiding so take a flash light and look under cars, in trees, inside boxes and garages and look for shining eyes. Looking for a lost cat at night with a flashlight can help simply by looking for glowing eyes. Be sure to look in small, dark spaces such as garages, trash bins, etc. If your pet is injured, they are likely to hide in a dark space. Keep calling for your pet. She will recognize your voice and give her time to respond. Stop and stand quietly to listen for a response.
2. Sometimes your pet might not be able to find its way home because it cannot recognize anything, due to fresh snow or rain. Set out a basket or a box with some blankets, towels, or clothing from your house; anything that smells like home. You might also put out some food and even a pet carrier. You would be surprised how often pet owners will come back from searching only to find kitty in her carrier.
3. Please contact the animal shelters, animal impoundment facilities, veterinarians, and animal welfare organizations within at least a 50-mile radius. Personal visits are also recommended since larger shelters in cities handle thousands of pets and may very easily fail to recognize a stray from a description reported.
4. Continuously check "found pet" ads in the local paper and online at IA Pet Alert, Craigslist, and Facebook, particularly local swap pages.
5. Post flyers in as many places as possible - including at the homes of your neighbors - and place ads in local newspapers, providing a picture and general description of your pet, the area where the pet was lost and your phone number. Post online at IA Pet Alert and on Craigslist. Offer a reward and be sure to notify neighborhood children and mail carriers.
6. Don't forget to update everyone when your pet has returned. Every place you called, every lost report you filed, and every reward poster you placed, should now be updated to let them know your pet has been found. This will help find other pets by not having your flyer still in the mix.