How to find an owner of a lost pet

How to find an owner of a lost pet

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – we found a cat recently and were afraid of taking it to the shelter for fear that it might be euthanized. Can you tell me the best methods for finding the owner?

Darin King, Los Angeles


Hi – thanks for your email. Interesting that you write about this today as there was recently an article that our managing editor wrote in a pet tip this week.

What she wrote is:

I recently read an article in the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) journal about "search methods that people use to find owners of lost pets."

This article highlighted the results of a survey done of 188 individuals who found lost pet in Dayton Ohio.

The results of this survey showed that only 38% of pets were reunited with their owners. The most 5 common method pet owners were found included:

  • Information provided by an animal agency
  • Placement of a newspaper ad
  • Walking the neighborhood
  • Signs in neighborhood
  • Information on pet tag

    One thing that I noticed is that most people that found a pet did not realize that it is free to advertise a lost pet in most local papers. This was the #2 method of reuniting pets. If you find a pet – be sure to advertise with your local paper!

    JAVMA, vol 230, no. 12, June 15, 2007, page 1835 – 1840.

    For more tips, go to Tip on What to Do if You Find a Cat.

    Best of luck!

    Dr. Debra

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