Get the word out there as soon as possible

Post on social media such as Facebook or Twitter with a clear picture of your pet as well as a description, the location where your pet was lost, and your phone number.  Look for a picture with a full body shot, showing as many of your pet’s markings as possible.  Make sure you describe your pet, don’t assume that everyone knows what your pet’s breed or breed mix looks like.  Offer a reward, but don’t mention how much the reward is. Ask your friends, groups and businesses such as Sarah’s Pet SittingCheshire Cat & Dog and Thomaston Feed to Share your Post.


Make up posters with all the same details.  Make sure the words LOST DOG (cat, bird, etc.) are large and clear and can be seen from a moving car.  The details and contact info can be in a smaller font, but a passerby should be able to tell at a glance that your pet is lost and have an idea of what your pet looks like.  Put your poster up in the area where your dog was lost, as well as in your home neighborhood.  You can also post your poster in local shopping centers, pet stores, animal control, police stations, and veterinary offices.

If possible put up a very large poster in your front yard so that anyone who may have found your pet knows where he lives and can get in contact with you.

Place a lost add in the paper as soon as possible.  Lost adds are free with the Record Journal (203-634-3933), the Cheshire Herald , and the New Haven Register (877-872-3278) The Hartford Currant charges a fee.  The Connecticut Humane Society also offers an online listing for lost or found pets

Contact your vet and let them know your pet is missing.  Ask if you can put your poster up in the waiting area.

If your pet is microchipped, contact the company it is registered with and make sure your details are up to date.

Contact the local Animal Control and all the neighboring Animal Control Offices.

Here is list of local Animal Control:

Cheshire – 203-271-5590

Meriden – 203-235-4179

Wallingford  – 203-294-2180

North Haven – 203-239-5321

Hamden – 203-230-4080

Bethany – 203-389-5991

Prospect – 203-758-6150

Waterbury – 203-574-6909

Wolcott – 203-879-7620

Southington 860-628-8053

Be prepared to give proof of ownership if your dog is found.  Proof of ownership can be vet bills, registration paperwork, a bill of sale, or photographs of you and your pet together.

Continue to look for your pet.

Return to the area where your pet was lost, set up a ‘safe area’ for your pet as close to that location as possible.  Place some sort of box or solid sided crate that is open for your pet.  Line it with dirty laundry that smells like you and your family.  Leave food and water at this location.

Return at dawn and dusk and call for your pet.  Pets tend to circle back to where they were originally lost and are most active at dawn and dusk.

Drive around the area with your windows down.  Periodically turn off the car, call for your pet, and listen.

If your pet is continuously spotted in a new area set up a new ‘safe area’ there.  If your pet continues to run away from you and other helpers, don’t feel bad.  Quite often when a pet is lost or frightened they go into flight mode where everything appears dangerous to them.  The pet is quite likely not even registering that it is you or other friends and family members.  You will find that once your pet is caught, he will return to his old personality like nothing has happened.  This is a survival trait, and not a sign that your pet hates you or blames you.

Do not chase your pet if he or she is acting afraid, instead sit on the ground, toss food towards your pet, speak in a normal calm tone, using phrases your pet might recognize.  Try asking him or her to do trained behaviors, like sit or down.  Invite your pet to go for a walk or a car ride if that is something that usually excites him.

In the case where your pet cannot be recaptured using normal means, contact local animal control for help with a humane box trap or other methods.

 Resources for advanced help.
If you pet is still missing, or proving hard to catch, you may need to call in some experts.  Carol Ferrucci is a volunteer in Meriden, CT that specializes in finding lost pets and catching or trapping hard to catch pets.  She can be reached at [email protected]

Summit Missing Animal Response Team services the New England area and is a team of MAR (Missing animal response) technicians who work with trained search dogs.  More details can be found on their webpage

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