Lost a Pet

Tips For Finding Lost Pets

When a beloved pet strays from home, it can be a traumatic experience for the owner and the animal alike. The Animal Welfare League offers these tips to help pet owners find their lost companions.

Contact Animal Agencies

Immediately telephone all humane societies, animal care & control agencies and animal protection organizations within a large radius to file a lost-pet report.  Pets often stray farther from home than their owners believe possible.  If there is no shelter in your area, contact your local police department.  Visit your local shelter every 24 hours to search. See our list of facilities below.

Search the Neighborhood

Walk and/or drive through your neighborhood several times every day.  The early morning hours and sunset are prime times for finding lost pets.  Question neighbors, joggers, postal carriers, garbage collectors and newspaper carriers and ask them to keep an eye out for your pet.

Use the Power of Scent

Place a recently-worn article of clothing in your yard; for cats which usually stay indoors, place their litter box outside.  Familiar scents can bring them home.


Post flyers at all public places – grocery stores, community centers, churches, etc.  Place an ad in the classified section of your local paper.  Offer a reward if possible.  Caution: To protect your self from pet-recovery scams, leave out one of your pet’s identifying characteristics so you can verify the honesty of any caller who claims to have found your pet.

Get a free lost flyer at: LostDogsIllinois.org or https://www.facebook.com/LostDogsIllinois/  Dogs will be posted on Lost Dogs Illinois Facebook page and twitter, a resource center for people who have lost or found dogs.

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