What to do if your pet is lost:

The first thing you should do when your pet is lost is search the area closest to where your pet went missing. Walk or drive your neighborhood and tell everyone you meet that you are looking for your lost pet and provide them with your contact information. Hang lost pet flyers (they’re more effective if they are printed in color) within a three-mile radius that include your pet’s information and a photo. Enlist the help of your friends and family by posting a photo and description of your lost pet on social channels like Nextdoor.com, Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and asking your network to share your post.

If your pet has a microchip ID, contact the registry to verify that your address and phone number are up-to-date in their records. You should also contact the organization or county where you licensed your pet to make sure they have your updated contact information.

Next, check the animal shelters closest to where your pet was lost. Visit in person to file a report, and take along a photo. Check nearby animal shelters, too. You can find locations on the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance website. You have a better chance of finding your lost pet by visiting the shelters in person. There’s a good chance the description you give over the phone may not match someone else’s description of your pet. You can also file a lost pet report using PetHarbor.com. By using Pet Harbor, you will be able to notify multiple area shelters by completing just one form.

Here are more things you can do to find your lost pet:

  • Check other websites such as FindingRover.comFidoFinder.com911ParrotAlert.comPawBoost.com and the Colorado Lost and Found Pets Facebook page.
  • Notify friends and neighbors that your pet is lost.
  • Contact veterinary practices in your area.
  • Check “found” ads and take out a “lost” ad in newspapers.
  • If your pet has been missing for more than 5 days, check pets available for adoption at local shelters.
  • Leave an item of your clothing, your pet’s bedding or toys, or cat’s litter box outside to help guide your pet back home.

What to do if you find a lost pet:

If you see a stray pet, first check to see if it is wearing ID tags. If there are no tags, or the phone number on the tag is not correct, take the animal to the nearest shelter right away. The animal will be scanned for a microchip and cared for while the shelter staff works to locate the pet’s owner.

You may also take the pet to a veterinarian’s office to be scanned for a microchip ID. If you decide to temporarily house the pet in your home, you should report a lost pet and file a “found” report with local shelters.

Distributing “found pet” flyers near the area the pet was found and posting notices on websites like Nextdoor.com, Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is another way to reunite pets with their owners. Be cautious with the kind of information you include when posting online. You may want to withhold some key information, including the pet’s picture, so you can be certain anyone who contacts you is the actual owner.