IMPORTANT:

  • Please contact us immediately if you think your animal might be at our shelter. Stray animals are typically held for 4-7 days before being placed up for adoption.
  • If you have found an animal: Please take the animal to a vet clinic so that it can be scanned for a microchip and its age, sex, and breed can be determined. This information is the most crucial in matching a pet to an owner.

Tips for Finding a Lost Animal

Not every tip will be useful for every situation/animal, but please read below and see what might be helpful for you. 

1. File a lost report with the stray holding facility in your area (for Washtenaw County and Plymouth, it's HSHV). Be sure to be thorough; the more thorough you are, the more likely the holding facility will be able to make a match.

Accuracy in a lost animal report is also crucial. A wrong breed or wrong color can lead to a missed match. See these websites for help:

Include a photo of your animal whenever possible. There should be a photo on any fliers you post, and you can email us a photo. Please include your name and your pet's name, so that we enter your photo into the correct report.

2. Begin physically looking for your pet as soon as possible. Cats especially can be very good at hiding, and you should not assume that your animal will come to you because they recognize you. If they are nervous or scared, they will most likely remain where they feel safe (i.e., out of sight). You should check under bushes, cars, decks and porches; in garages, sheds and wood piles, etc.

    • Looking during quiet times of the day (early morning, late evening) is helpful as you are more likely to hear any responses from your animal.
    • Put out items that smell like your animal to try to lure him/her back -- for example, litter boxes, beds/bedding, or a crate or carrier that he/she spends time in.
    • Where possible, set live humane traps. Make sure you are using a trap large enough for your animal (obviously this is not the best option lor large breed dogs). Use things like tuna or smelly canned cat food as bait. Please make sure to check the trap at least every 12 hours, or at the very minimum every 24-hours as required by state law. If you catch an animal other than your own, release it immediately. If your are uncomfortable releasing wildlife caught in the trap you can call HSHV's affordable Humane Wildlife Removal service for assistance at (734) 661-3512. For information on renting a live trap from HSHV, please call our vet clinic at (734) 662-4365.
    • Consider your individual animal's habits, likes and dislikes in looking for him/her.

3. Spread the word about your lost pet. The more people who are aware of your lost animal, the better! 

    • Talk with your neighbors to let them know about your lost animal.
    • Post fliers around your neighborhood. The flier should include the animal's name, age, size, breed, color, a photo, the area where the pet went missing (city, major crossrods, etc.) and contact information for the owner.
    • Contact nearby veterinary offices. Sometimes people post found information there or bring the animal in to be looked over or checked for a microchip.
    • Check local gathering places like churches, meeting halls, libraries, laundry mats, and all local pet stores to see if they have a bulletin board where people place lost notices.
    • Post on other websites like Craigslist, Facebook's "For the Love of Louie - Michigan Lost Pet Lookers," and other websites dedicated to assisting people in finding their lost pet.

 

The links below have excellent, more specific tips on where to search: 
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All images and photographs are courtesy of HSHV staff and Jeffrey E. Roush of Two Cat Studios.