Thank you so much for helping a lost pet! They were lucky to find someone caring like you to help get them back home. Note: Pets can quickly become disorderly in appearance. It is important not to assume that the pet was dumped or not loved and cared for by its family.
If the dog is not friendly, do not approach them. Try to take their photo and follow the steps below to find their owner. Then contact the municipal shelter for your county. If the dog is injured or seems dangerous, call 911 and an animal control officer will be dispatched.
Pets are considered to be the legal property of their owners. Finding a pet does not entitle the finder to keep, sell, or give away the pet, nor does it convey ownership to the finder. If you find a pet, you must actively look for the owner for at least 7 days. Even after that period of time has elapsed, the owner may still have the right to reclaim his/her pet under certain circumstances. It is important to report the found pet to the animal control agency servicing the area where the pet was found and to follow your jurisdiction's policies and procedures regarding stray animals.
The real safety net for pets is a caring community – neighbors helping neighbors. Typically, pets don’t wander too far from home, so the chances are that someone is looking for them close to where they were found. By taking them to the shelter their chances of ever finding their family again could be impeded.
We are encouraging all finders to take 48 hours and follow a few quick steps to help that pet, before bringing them to the shelter. About 92% of lost dogs have a family but few are found once they are in the shelter. The best thing you can do is to hold onto the dog for at least a few days and look for the owner using the tips below. It would also prevent our crowded shelter from getting overwhelmed. Thanks for your help saving lives!
Here is what you need to know to give this lost pet their best chance at reuniting with their family.
Within the First Hour
- If possible, secure the animal. Some pets are scared so be patient and persistent. If you cannot safely contain the pet, call your municipal shelter.
- Check for ID. Some pets have a collar with the phone number stitched in, or a tag with a number that you can call to locate the pet parent. If the found pet is wearing a tag with a phone number, call and send a text. People tend to be more responsive to texts than phone calls from unknown callers.
- If they have a city registration tag, call the animal shelter for owner information. Similarly, if they have a rabies tag, call the vet office it originated from.
Within the Next Few Hours
- Bring the pet to the nearest veterinarian and get a free microchip scan.
- Fill out a Found Pet Report with the municipal shelter for your county.
a. Muscogee County - 706 225-4512; firstname.lastname@example.org
b. Harris County - 706 582-2763.
c. Russell County - 334 297-2632.
- Walk the dog around the neighborhood to see if anyone might recognize them.
Within the First 24 Hours
- Make a found pet flier and hang it within a 1-mile radius of where you found the pet. PetFBI has a helpful online found pet flier template.
- Upload a photo to Petco Love Lost, a free online service that uses facial recognition technology to reunite lost pets with their owners.
- Search apps such as NextDoor, Ring, and Facebook to see if the owner has posted an ad looking for his/her dog.
- Make a post on NextDoor, Ring, and Facebook with a picture of the found pet.
- Facebook has many local Lost and Found Pet pages. Lost Pets of Lee, Russell, and Muscogee County is one of the largest in our area but don’t forget your neighborhood pages. Post a picture and description of the dog on the pages near where the dog was found.
- Search local Lost & Found pet alert sites to see if an owner has already posted this pet. If not, create a found pet alert on Pawboost.