Is Your Pet Lost?
A lost pet can be a frightening experience for any pet parent. Immediate action is crucial, but where do you start? Follow the steps below for the best chance of a reunion
What to do immediately after your pet goes missing:
Walk the neighborhood: Take a walk around the immediate area and speak to any neighbors, postal service workers, landscapers, or anyone who may have seen your lost pet. You know your pet best, so look in areas that your pet may have been interested in or comfortable hiding in. Most pets are found close to home.
Share their scent: Put a couple of your pet’s favorite items near the most common entry ways into your home. The front door and the door into your yard would be the best locations. You can include items like their favorite bed, blanket, toys, their litterbox (if cat) and any other items they use frequently. Their scents may help them find their way home.
1. Check here first. Any stray animal picked up by New Braunfels or Comal County Lost and Found will be brought to HSNBA. We also hold strays for the City of Marion. Citizens are also encouraged to bring strays found in our area to HSNBA. Search for your lost dog or cat on Petco Love Lost: We have partnered with Petco Love Lost to easily help search the national lost and found database and create a searchable/shareable alert for your missing pet. Upload a a picture of your pet or searching by location. Powered by facial recognition technology, Petco Love Lost helps match found animals to reported lost pets nationwide. Visit Petco Love Lost and search now! If you haven’t done so already, be sure to register your pet on Petco Love Lost to do things like create a Lost listing that can be shared and print out premade fliers. You can also receive fliers via text message or email.
2. Use the sharing features on Petco Love Lost to distribute your lost pet listing on other social media outlets like Facebook, Craigslist, and Nextdoor. Post on the Facebook Page “Comal County Lost and Found Dogs”, any neighborhood Facebook or Next Door pages you may be on.
3. Make sure your pet’s microchip information is updated: If a finder takes your missing pet to be scanned for a microchip, you want to make sure that all the information is correct so that you will be contacted immediately.
4. Check with your local animal services, animal control, and animal shelters: Call to see if your missing pet is at one of these locations. An in-person trip is preferable so you can look and see if your pet is in their care. Many organizations allow you to place a lost report with them, where you can leave a photo of your pet and your contact information. E-Mail us! Send a picture, a description, where the pet was last seen and when you last saw it to LostandFound@HSNBA.org. You can also send us the message via Facebook Messenger.
5. Continue to spread the word about your missing pet: Make sure any posters or fliers made are large and bright with only relevant information on it. Place in high traffic areas and in the vicinity of where your lost pet went missing. Print and post signs near where the pet was lost. You don’t have to be a graphics wizard; this site will help you make effective signs in just few minutes. Consider including a little white lie by putting “needs medicine” on the flyer or internet posts. If someone unscrupulous has your pet, they will be more likely to return them if they think they are sick.
6. Don’t give up! Finding a lost pet can take time. Remember to regularly check websites that you have posted your lost pet on and make updates as needed. New lost and found pets are added regularly to Petco Love Lost and to your local shelters.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! 4 out of 5 pets are lost at some point in their life but there ARE things pet owners can do to prevent their pets from roaming and reduce the amount time spent away from home.
- Spay/Neuter your pet! Pets that are not at the mercy of their hormonal urges are much less likely to wander away from home. Talk to your veterinarian about scheduling your pet’s surgery or visit our Resources page for low cost options if cost is a barrier.
- Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar and tags with your contact information. If the tags bother you, you can always write your pet’s name and your phone number in sharpie on the collar.
- Microchip your pet! Talk to your vet about microchipping your pet. This is a quick, easy procedure than will insure your pet is returned to you if ever lost without his collar and tags. HSNBA also offers microchipping at the shelter. It is $20 for intact animals (not spayed or neutered) and $10 for animals who have been spayed or neutered.
- Periodically check your fence, you’d be surprised how quickly a dog can dig a hole or pry loose fence boards to make their great escape. Repair any questionable areas immediately!
- Take extra special care of your pet when thunderstorms are in the area, many pets find storms especially disorienting and will take drastic measures to get away during a bad storm. Keeping them safely indoors during bad weather is the best course of action to prevent a pet from running away.
- The same goes for fireworks – around New Years and 4th of July is a very busy time at animal shelters because many animals are so distraught by the strange noises, they run away and become disoriented. Keep your pets indoors during fireworks season!
- Please keep in mind, YOU are the only one who can truly identify your pet – do not rely on shelter descriptions, including breed, sex, and color. We are a very busy shelter and mistakes can be made, so if you cannot come in to look for yourself, please try to check our website every day, which updates every night at midnight.
- 8. Don’t give up hope!
I’ve FOUND a Pet
- If you cannot safely contain the pet for any length of time, please bring it to the shelter. Shelter staff works very hard to reunite lost pets with their owners. If transportation is an issue, you can call Animal Control. If you found the pet within the City Limits of New Braunfels, call 830-608-2183. If you are outside the City Limits but within Comal County, call 830-885-4883.
- You can take the pet to any vet clinic or the animal shelter to have it scanned for a microchip free of charge. The vet clinic can help you track the microchip but we also recommend calling or e-mailing the shelter as we have some additional resources we use to track down owners via the microchip. Keep the microchip number handy!
- Post the found pet on “Comal County Lost and Found Dogs”, any neighborhood Facebook or Next Door pages you may be on.
- Put up signs near where you found the pet. You don’t have to be a graphics wizard; this site will help you make effective signs in just few minutes.
- E-mail a picture, a description and where the pet was found LostandFound@HSNBA.org. You can also send us the message via Facebook Messenger.
- Please keep in mind if you care for the pet for 3 days, it is considered your property, so if you are not prepared for a new pet, bring it to HSNBA before the 72 hour window has closed!