Have you lost OR found a pet?
If you find a lost or stray animal
- When you first find a pet, one of the first steps to take is checking for a microchip. Any local veterinarian or animal shelter should be able to scan for a microchip. If the pet has a registered microchip, it should have the contact information of the owner.
- The next step to take is to report the animal you have found to animal services. Call Manatee County Animal Services at 941-742-5933 and Sarasota County Animal Services at 941-861-9500 to report details of the animal you have found.
- Even if you do not bring the pet to Animal Services, it is important to report the animal you have found. This gives all owners the best opportunity to find their pet.
- Contact local shelters to see if anyone has reported their pet missing. While you can call, we prefer being contacted through Facebook or email. Send information, such as a picture, location found, and your own contact information. This way, we can share the animal you have found on social media, as well as have your information if an owner is located. Visit our community shelter map here to find a list of local shelters to contact.
- Make a flyer to post around the location the pet was found. You never know who may see the flyer and recognize the pet! Consider posting flyers at local veterinary clinics, schools, grocery and convenience stores, Starbucks, and anywhere else that will allow you to post a flyer.
- Utilize resources such as Craigslist, www.lostfoundpets.us, www.fidofinder.com, www.findthatpet.com, and all forms of social media to share or look for information of the pet you have found. For example, people with lost pets will often post an ad on Craigslist with either a picture or the information of the pet they are missing.
- If someone contacts you claiming to be the owner of the pet you have found, always make sure to ask for evidence of ownership. If the animal you have found is wearing a collar or form of identification, remove it for the picture you post. This way, you can ask those contacting you about the type of identification that they had on their pet. If the animal you have found is not wearing identification, ask about markings the pet has that are not visible in the photo you post.
IF YOU are missing your pet
- If you are missing your pet, you should first look at Animal Services. You can check Manatee County Animal Services found dogs and found cats. While you can call Manatee County Animal Services at 941-742-5933 and Sarasota County Animal Services at 941-861-9500, we highly suggest visiting animal services to see if your pet has been picked up as a stray. Even if your pet is not at animal services, it is important to report it as missing so that you can be contacted if it is found.
- Lost pets may hide due to fear. Talk to your neighbors and check possible hiding places near your home, such as wooded areas and under decks/houses. You can also put out food and water in an attempt to lure your pet home.
- Contact local shelters to report your pet as missing. Many people who find pets will contact local shelters, so see if a shelter can help reunite you with their pet! You can call shelters using our community shelter map, but it is often easier to contact them through Facebook or email. Send information, such as a picture, location lost, and your contact information. This way, we can share the animal you have lost on social media. If anyone steps forward with your missing pet, we can assist in reuniting you with your missing family member.
- Place posters around the area where your pet was lost. Make a flyer with your pet’s information, picture, and your contact information. While you can post around the area your pet got loose, also consider posting flyers at local veterinary clinics, schools, grocery and convenience stores, Starbucks, and anywhere else that will allow you to post a flyer.
- Utilize social media! Use Facebook and Craigslist to share information about your lost pet. Social media has a large reach in a variety of areas, giving it a high success rate in reuniting owners with their lost pets. You can also use other websites such as www.lostfoundpets.us, www.fidofinder.com and www.findthatpet.com.
- Overall, do not give up! Be persistent and continuously check with animal services and local shelters. Pets have been reunited with their owners months, and even years, after they go missing!
If you are reunited with your pet, PLEASE microchip your animal! Microchipping is the best way to locate your pet if it is ever lost again.
Call us at 941-747-4900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.