2018 Calendar


2018 Calendar
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What To Do If You Lost a Dog

Act fast!
Do not wait to see if your pet comes home on its own. A pet can wander quite some distance in a short time. Begin searching immediately.

Get out and look, and ask others to help look.
Get out and call for your pet by name. Ask friends or neighbors to help you walk or drive the immediate area. Have each one head in a different direction and move outward. Don’t try to predict where your pet could or wouldn’t have gone — YOU NEVER KNOW. The best time to call for your pet is at night, and at dawn. If you are calling from your car, drive slowly, roll down all the windows, stop and turn your vehicle off frequently to listen.

Notify people who are familiar with your pet that it’s lost (for example, newspaper and mail carriers and neighborhood children). The more people who know you have lost a pet, and that you are upset, worried, and desperately trying to find your pet, the more people will call you if they see an animal in the woods or on the road, or in their backyard.

Put out clothing with your scent.
Hang a tee shirt or some other item of clothing on a fence post. Animals’ keen sense of smell can pick up a scent from a great distance. If your pet is lost, this “scent marker” can help it find its way home.

Post flyers.
Post flyers in the area where you live. Put up a simple flyer right away. Replace it with a flyer containing a picture if the pet is not found the first day. “LOST DOG (or CAT)” should be at the top of the flyer in large, easy to read (even from moving vehicles) bold letters. Then include a brief description or breed type. Don’t assume that people will know your particular breed of pet, so always include a description. Include the pet’s name, it may make it easier for someone to call your pet over and capture her, and it also makes your pet into a valued member of your family, and not just another lost animal statistic. Offer a reward, don’t state how much in the ad, and include a couple of contact telephone numbers in large numbers at the bottom of the poster.

Make contacts and distribute index cards in the immediate area.
Make dozens of index cards with the same information that you post on your flyers, and go to every home, in every direction from the site of where your pet disappeared, and give a card, or stick a card under doors or on windshields. Stop and speak with every person you encounter– the more people who know about your lost pet, the more likely the one person who spots him will call you. Call all your neighbors personally. Your pet may be frightened, so ask people to please check their barns and sheds, especially at night.

Contact veterinary clinics and animal-related businesses.
Contact veterinary practices and emergency veterinary hospitals in your area. People often notify the closest vet about a stray animal or an animal that they have found. Clinics usually have bulletin boards in their offices and will post a notice for you. Call animal control, local boarding kennels, pet sitters, the highway department, dog training clubs, grooming shops…get the word out!

Visit every area animal shelter, every day.
It’s important that you visit every animal shelter in the area, daily, to look for your pet because animals can often wander far from home. It is important that you personally look for your pet in every shelter because the description you give of your pet over the phone may not be the description another person would provide for that animal. For instance, what one person considers a black dog with white markings may appear to another person as a white dog with black markings.

Don’t assume that a shelter will house your animal any longer than a few days, or that a shelter worker will identify your pet. Shelters are extremely busy places, and your pet may not be recognized among the hundreds of animals that may pass through a shelter in a week. If you live in the Knoxville/Knox County area, visit the Animal Center’s online Found Pet Log to review our list of animals that have been found. When you visit the Animal Center to see if your lost pet is here, be sure to also check the Found Pet Log at the lost and found reception desk, to see if someone has found your pet and called the Animal Center to report it.

Leave a picture at shelters.
If you don’t find your pet at a shelter, leave pet and owner information and a current photo of your pet with the shelter staff. Most shelters have a bulletin board for pictures of lost pets and maintain “lost pets” and “found pets” logs. Shelter workers and the public can help watch for your pet. But please don’t rely on the shelter to find your lost pet!

Use the newspaper – place a “lost” ad and check “found” ads, too.
Read the “found” ads and take out a “lost” ad in city and community newspapers, the first day your pet is missing. Many people will first care for a stray animal for a while before taking it to a shelter, and they will place and read ads to try to find the owner.

Set a humane live trap.
In rare cases, you may want to rent or purchase a humane live trap, and set it to capture a terrified lost pet. Local animal shelters and animal control organizations often rent or loan these, and will have an appropriate size for a dog or a cat, or can advise you where to purchase one and what type and size you should use.

Don’t Give Up!
Some pets are found after months and months of searching! Don’t give up! Other people will follow your lead and will continue to help you. Be aggressive in your search, get lots of help, and get the word out right away.

Once You Find Your Pet


Why pets stray.
One of the most common reasons a pet will stray from home is because it isn’t spayed or neutered and is looking for another dog or cat with which to mate. Spaying or neutering your pet will eliminate your pet’s reproductive instincts and, therefore, decrease the chances of it straying from home to search for a mate. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do for many (including health) reasons.

Be sure your pet has identification.

  • Current Tags: Your dog or cat should always wear a current rabies tag and an I.D. tag with your present address and phone number. Make sure that the veterinary office where your pet received its last rabies vaccination has your current address and phone number.
  • A Snug Collar: Be sure your pet’s collar fits snugly so it won’t come off. The collar should fit around your pet’s neck so that you can fit two of your fingers underneath the collar. If you have a puppy or kitten, adjust or change its collar as it grows.
  • Microchip: In addition to wearing current tags, consider getting your dog or cat a microchip identification implant. If your pet ever loses its collar and I.D. tags, its microchip I.D. will be its ticket home. This is because most shelters and veterinary clinics check lost pets for microchip I.D.’s with special scanners. For details about microchip I.D. implants, consult your veterinarian. The Animal Center also provides microchips for owned pets for a $20 fee (this fee includes registration of the chip). For more information about getting your pet microchipped at the Animal Center, please call our Lost & Found Department, during business hours, at 865-215-6665. If your pet has a microchip I.D. implant, make sure the registry for the implant’s manufacturer has your current address and phone number on file, too. Click here for more information about permanent identification.
  • A Recent Picture: Providing a good picture is the best way to enable other people to help you look for your pet. Be sure that you always have a picture that looks like your pet looks now.