Finding A Lost Pet – What to do?

Pets are lost and end up at the shelter every day and their owners have no idea.


After a weekend of bitter weather and New Year’s Eve firework celebrations, our overflowing animal shelters are likely to bust with strays, homeless animals, and pets who attempted to escape out of fear or trying to locate a place to find warmth.

Fortunately, there are many animal lovers in the community. The last thing any of us want is to see is a dog, cat, pig or bird, homeless and possibly in dire straits.

I’ve witnessed daily on social media pages, strangers securing or reporting sightings of lost pets and tirelessly working to get these babies back into their owners loving arms

So, what do you do if you rescue a wandering animal?

First, let’s start with a couple of things NOT to do.

I see this all the time; Usually a dog, but sometimes a cat;

“Help! Very sweet, but I can’t keep. He/she must go, now! My dogs are going crazy. They don’t like this new dog/cat around and are trying to hurt him.

People: Do NOT expose your personal animals to a stray dog or even a cat. Dogs are especially not tolerant to immediately accepting strangers in their “territory”. (Do not stick it out in your backyard that’s also your dog’s space.) Bringing in a newcomer can provoke a dog fight and the results are not always pretty.

Keep your guest in a spare bathroom, laundry room, or even a garage is better than letting your animals get beaten up or vice versa. Vet bills aren’t cheap, either.

Not to mention, you do not know the stray animal’s health history. You may be exposing your pet to something you’d rather avoid.

Speaking of backyards, yes, it’s fine to keep a roaming dog inside a fenced yard. If you can, take precautions. Remember, the animal is in a strange place, and may be looking to find its way home. It might escape if left on its own for a long period of time. Once back on the streets, the pup’s life is once again in jeopardy.

The other thing NOT to do is solicit re-homing right away. You cannot instantly give the dog away without attempting to locate its owners. You must hold the animal for seventy-two hours before trying to re-home or keeping the pet for yourself. If you cannot hold the animal, do your best to find a foster. This isn’t a find an animal, dump an animal situation. Once you take on a stray, it’s your duty to see that the pet is properly cared for.  Usually, lost and found sights have trustworthy fosters who step up in urgent situations.

Well, what can you do?

First, check collar and tags. In a perfect world, all animals would wear name and address tags, but unfortunately, that doesn’t happen frequently.

Rabies tags can help, though. They list the animal’s veterinarian and you can call and give them the number on the tag. They can locate and contact the families and let them know you have their pet.

Micro chipping has been an excellent source in uniting pets with their families. Shelters, vets, emergency vets, (which are open 24-7), and animal control services have scanners and can scan for a chip and contact the owner. It’s free, too!

Walk the dog in the area found. Knock on some doors. Many pets have found their way back home when a finder takes them door to door. It’s also a good way to meet your neighbors and get some added exercise.

Posters & Flyers (Make sure they’re bright and eye catching) are also a good way to get the word out that you’ve found a lost pet. Just make sure you leave out a couple of details which only an owner would know. Sadly, there are some unscrupulous people in the world that mean to do animals harm. We don’t want the precious lives to fall victim in the wrong hands.

NOTE: Always ask for proof of ownership before turning a pet over to a stranger.

Notify local vets and shelters. Give descriptions and the location the pet was discovered. Posters can be placed in vet’s offices too.

Craig’s List and newspaper ads: If you live in a smaller town, many have their own newspaper, be sure you check the lost and found sections in both. You can also place an ad.

I live in a smaller community. If a pet is lost or found, we call animal control or even the police. They will keep a description of the animals on file. If someone calls looking for their pet, we are connected and get the pet home.

Post pictures and location found on social media sites.

I’ve discussed Central Texas Lost and Found Pets Facebook page on this blog before. They have one of the best networking systems in the region. They have successfully reunited thousands of fur wanderers and escape artists with their families. Post on their page right away!

There are also many national databases you can search and don’t forget to post a photo and description on your local Nextdoor site.

If it comes down to where you have no luck in finding the pet’s owner and you cannot keep it or find a foster, your next step is surrendering it to the shelter.

Make sure there are no other options before you do, shelters are always filled to the brim and lives may be lost to make room for incoming intakes, something no one wants to happen.

Call the shelter first and get the criteria before surrendering the animal. Most require an appointment, and there can be a surrender fee, (yes, even if it doesn’t officially belong to you.)

Above all, make sure you take the animal to the shelter in the county you found it in.

Taking it to a different county shelter will lessen the chance of these sweet babies reuniting with their frantic owners.

Let’s do our best to see that every adoptable animal has a home and make 2018 a Happy New Year for all.

Humane Society of Central Texas has been overrun with intakes this past week. After the New Year, the following urgents lives are in danger. These are all beautiful, adoptable dogs who deserve a home. Lets do what we can to make sure their 2018 starts out with a forever home.

                    Loki –  ADOPTED

Loki – Loki is number one on the urgent list. Not sure why no one has snatched up this permanent eye lined handsome dude. He’s a bit chatty in his kennel, but Mr. Personality has things to say and he just wants someone to hear him. Outside, he’s quite calm, and he loves to take in the scenery., plus he walks great on a leash. Combine those to ingredients and you have an A+ walking companion. He’s also an exclusive member of the shelter play group, which means he’s dog friendly. His adoption fee has been sponsored, so he’s FREE to adopt to an approved adopter. What’s not to love about this stunning boy? Loki (A079104) is a neutered male, five year old, pittie mix. He’s been at the shelter since 9/8/17

                            Major ADOPTED!

Who needs some fun in their life? If you do, and even if you don’t, Major is definitely your guy! Major is number two on the urgent list. This stunning pup is barely a year old. and will be a great addition to any active family. He’s a fun-loving boy, he enjoys playing outdoors, and he loves kids! He’s a total love bug! He’s saved up a ton of sweet kisses, he just needs his family to share them with. Major (A079669) is a year old, male, Shepard mix. He’s been waiting for his home since 10/6/17 and his adoption has been sponsored, which means he’s FREE to adopt to an approved adopter!


                         Licorice ADOPTED

Even is you don’t like black licorice, you’re going to love this Licorice. Licorice is said to be one of the best dogs at the shelter. How has such a wonderful dog been bypassed so much that he’s on the urgent list? Licorice is a quiet, unassuming guy. He sits in his kennel and waits. Unfortunately, black dogs are most often overlooked. Get his cute labby guy in the play area and his winning personality comes alive. Licorice is a dog that has it all, looks, brains, and personality. The only thing he doesn’t have is a home of his own. Licorice (A079725) is a year old, neutered, male, lab mix. He’s been at the shelter since 10/10/17. His adoption has been sponsored and he’s FREE to adopt to an approved adopter.

                               Bosco  ADOPTED

Talk about breathtaking! Bosco is certainly more than a stunner. This boy is oblivious to his great looks. He’s fun, goofy and just a barrel a laughs. Bosco is not just in it for a great time, he loves, loves to be around people and generously doles out hugs and kisses to everyone who’ll let him! Let’s get this handsome lover boy off the urgent list and into a forever home. Bosco (A079921) is a year old, male, neutered, Catahoula Mix. He’s been at the shelter since 10/20/17 and he is not sponsored, but could use one.

                               Angel ADOPTED

Angel is a little Angel. Beautiful, sweet, and this pup likes to be outdoors and view the world. This adorable girl is not even a year old, so she loves to perform “zoomies” before settling down and hanging out with her human friends. Since she’s so young, she can be trained to become the perfect companion dog. Lets get this sweetie off the urgent list and find her the perfect home. Angel (A078771) is a female,11 months old, spayed pittie mix. She’s been at the shelter since 10/26/17. Her adoption fee has been sponsored and she’s FREE to an approved adopter.


Ramsey is a sleek looking teddie bear who likes a good romp around the yard. Playtime is is his favorite and he likes to see if he can outmatch his human friends. He’s a quick boy, too. He also has a gentle and loving side. He enjoys hanging out with human peeps and making conversation. puppy style, of course! Ramsey (A080047)is the best. He’s a three year old mixed breed, male, and he’s already neutered. He’s been at the shelter since 10/28/17. He does not have a sponsor, yet, but being a larger, black dog, it sure would help his cause.


Giellis is the shelter super-model. She’s also been voted shelter’s most photogenic. This fashionista is a smooth walker on a leash and calm when strolling the runway. Personality, she’s a beautiful inside as she is out. She’s ready to leave the glam life and settle on the couch, munch on a few doggie treats (low cal of course) and binge on some Netflix. with her favorite person by her side. Giellis (A069162) is a pretty female, pittie mix. She’s four years old, and has been spayed. She’s been at the shelter since 10/24/17. She is not sponsored, but a sponsor would help get her a home.

Windsor Adopted

Windsor is an amazing dog. His striking looks are unique and his personality is as vibrant as his coat. This boy is a total athlete. Like to throw the ball? Play tug of war? Windsor is your guy! He’s a funny goofball who strives on a bit of competition and this athlete will give you a good run for your money and maybe even emerge as the victor! Windsor (A080027) is a male, neutered, Australian Cattle dog mix. He is three years old and he’s been at the shelter since 10/28/17. He is  not currently sponsored. Hopefully that will change.


Electra is a petite, pretty girl whose had a rough life, which makes her a tad bashful when you first meet her. But this sweetie isn’t wallowing in her past. Oh no, she’s looking forward to a great future, she just needs someone to do that with.. Besides being a doll, she’s got gobs of cute quirks and a darling personality. Electra just needs some time an patience and she will shine! Electra (A078386) is a female, three year old, spayed pittie mix. She’s been at the shelter since 10/30/17. She is not sponsored, but a sponsor would certainly help her find a home quicker.

                                       Rizzo Adopted

Every week the shelter holds the best ears contest, guess who won this week? Yep, adorable Rizzo. Is that not a face anyone could fall in love with? Rizzo is a dapper dude with style and grace. He’s eye catching and classic with his white coat with a touch of black. He’s definitely going to be someone’s keeper. Rizzo(A080063) is a male, neutered, two year old, terrier mix. He’s been at the shelter since 10/30/17 and he is not sponsored, but one would be appreciated.
Blog Contributors:
Author, Debra Jupe, Content Editor, Daniela Ranzinger, Photographer, Cynthia Favreau
Debra Jupe writes romance/suspense.  Her favorite authors are Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, and Lisa Jackson. Find her books at or    Website:

Author: waggintalesdot

I'm a romance/suspense author, a volunteer, and a foster for the Humane Society of Central Texas

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