Stay calm and follow the steps below to find your pet, but do not wait to see if your pet comes home on its own. A pet can wander quite a distance in a short time.

Act immediately!

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 would or wouldn’t go. If not found right away, the best times to call for your pet are at night and at dawn. Start by retracing your pet’s walking routine, if applicable. If calling from a car, drive slowly, roll down all the windows, stop and turn your vehicle off frequently to listen for excited dog barking. Fenced dogs will bark uncontrollably at loose pets. You can post your lost flyer on the rear window and use emergency flashers to notify other motorists you are searching for your pet.

Post public “lost pet” ads ASAP on www.craigslist.org in BOTH the “Lost and Found” AND “Pets” sections of the Community area, Facebook’s Lost and Found Pets of the MidSouth page, The Commercial Appeal, The Memphis Flyer, Fidofinder.com, your community paper or newsletter, and NextDoor.com. Be sure to post on your personal Facebook page, your community association’s page, and any other appropriate page. Include a picture and a phone number with area code where you can be contacted immediately. (There are a lot of people that are not physically able to pick up a lost pet or are not able to wait for an email reply, but they are more than happy to call and let you know where your pet was seen so that you can take action before the pet moves on.) Be sure the privacy on your social media posts is marked PUBLIC instead of “friends only” so that the issue can be shared far and wide.

If your pet is chipped, ensure the contact information in the chip’s online registration is current.

Monitor the “Pet” and “Free” sections on www.craigslist.org. Many finders will attempt to rehome a found pet instead of going through the trouble of finding you. Also monitor all locations where you posted “lost” ads for the possibility of “found” ads for your pet. If an ad sounds even close to your pet’s description CHECK IT OUT. However, use caution. If someone calls about your pet, try to get a positive identification on your animal from the caller. Have specific details in mind (a scar or peculiar feature) that will identify your animal from a similar one. There are extortionists who will claim to have your pet. Think of a special question that only someone with your pet will be able to answer. If you offer a reward, make sure you have your animal back before you turn over the money. Please do not go alone to collect your lost pet from someone who claims to have found it. For your safety, take someone with you.

Visit every animal shelter in the area every day or two to look for your pet, because animals can often wander far from home. It is important to personally look for your pet in every shelter, because the description you give of your pet over the phone may not match how another person would describe that animal. Check Memphis Animal Services (MAS) REGULARLY and in person. Ask see the stray area, too. Calling the shelter will not do.

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. Shelters have volunteers that are available for you to speak to. 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!

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 (if no photo) but reserve a special detail that you can use to confirm with any caller claiming to have your pet (to screen possible extortionists). Also include the pet’s name, as this may make it easier for someone to call your pet over and capture her. It also identifies your pet as a valued member of your family and not just another lost animal statistic. Offer a reward, but don’t state how much in the ad. Include a couple of contact telephone numbers in large bold print at the bottom of the poster. You can make your flyers easily for free online


Example of how to make an effective sign: https://www.facebook.com/notes/lost-and-found-pets-of-the-midsouth/example-of-a-lost-sign/418499838227304

Also post flyers at area businesses, in outlying areas, and at local businesses who allow flyers, particularly at vet offices. Dogs can travel many miles in one day. Many grocery stores have community bulletin boards on which you can post flyers. Check the locations of your flyers regularly to make sure they are still there and are in good condition.

The United States Postal Service has a program called “Every Door Direct” to assist lost pet owners in notifying their communities of lost pets. Your lost pet flyer can be mailed via USPS. See this link for details. http://www.uspseverydoor.com/

Contact veterinary practices and emergency veterinary hospitals in your area. (Animal Emergency Center, 3767 Summer Ave, ph 901-323-4563; PETMED Emergency Center, 555 Trinity Creek Cove, ph 901-624-9002, fx 901-624-9014) Fax and email their offices your lost pet flyer. People often notify the closest vet about a stray animal or as a “good Samaritan” may have brought an injured animal in for medical treatment. Clinics usually have bulletin boards in their offices and will post a notice for you.

Consider making business cards on a home computer in addition to posting flyers. Business cards would also have the description of the pet (with picture helps), your name, and contact number with area code. These cards can be passed out quickly while walking your neighborhood during your search. Motorists can place your card in their sun visor for quick reference.

Tell workers in your neighborhood such as MLGW employees, postal workers, trash collectors, cable employees, neighborhood children, etc. Give them a description and your number. The more people who know you have lost and are desperately trying to find your pet, the more people will call you if they see an animal in the woods, on the road, or in their backyard.

Car tagging is a process of using florescent window markers to market your lost pet as you drive through your community. Placing a florescent message on the back of a mobile billboard (the back window of a car) has proven to be an effective method for recovering lost pets. For more information on car tagging visit http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-tagging.php

* Last but not least…Don’t Give Up! Some pets are found after months and months of searching. 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.

How to search for your lost pet at Memphis Animal Services (MAS)
1. Ask a staff person* to show you the “PRE-HOLDING AREA.” This is the area where animal control officers first drop off strays and lost dogs and is often forgotten about by staff.
2. Ask a staff person* to show you the “STRAY HOLD AREA.” This area is on LOCK-DOWN and often overlooked by staff who forget dogs are there waiting to be found by their owners.
3. Ask a staff person* to show you the “QUARANTINED AREA” in case the staff decided your dog has kennel cough and separated them from the others.
4. Ask a staff person* to show you the “MAIN FLOOR.” This is the area with dogs that are off stray hold and are now adoptable.
5. Ask a staff person* to show you any outside kennel or run areas.
6. Ask a staff person* to show you any animals in the clinic area or any that are in the euthanasia room.
*STAFF PERSON is an employee of the shelter, not a volunteer.

BE VIGILANT! Check the shelter every 3 days without fail. Between shelter checks you can view the shelter intakes on http://www.petharbor.com/ Remember this IS NOT a complete list of the animals at the shelter. Leave a photograph and your phone number with a staff person and TAKE DOWN THEIR NAME. Then return to the shelter and REPEAT all above steps. Just because your pet went missing in the last 24 hours does not mean it will be at the shelter immediately. Your pet could be picked up weeks after it went missing. Do not stop looking. They are depending on you.

Note: ALL municipal shelters in our area euthanize for various reasons, including capacity.

Memphis Animal Shelter
2350 Appling City Cv
(901) 636-1416

Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County
935 Farm Rd, Memphis, TN
Phone: 901-937-3900

Bartlett Animal Shelter
5220 Shelter Run Ln
Phone: (901) 385-6484

Collierville Animal Shelter
603 East South St
Phone: 901-853-3276, 901-457-2670

Germantown Animal Shelter
7700 Southern Ave
Phone: 901-757-7358
Email: glucchesi@germantown-tn.gov

Olive Branch Animal Shelter
7100 Stateline Road, just off Hwy 178
Phone: 662-895-4582

Southaven Animal Shelter
5813 Pepperchase Dr
Phone: 662-796-2491

Hernando, MS
If you have lost an animal, please call the Animal Control Officer at 662.429.9096 or e-mail Tisa at k9lady_ac1@yahoo.com. If you have lost an animal outside the Hernando City limits contact Desoto County Animal Shelter.

DeSoto County Animal Shelter
Director Larry Houston
1251 Humane Way, Nesbit, MS 38651
Phone: 662-469-8004
Email: monicamock@desotocountyms.org

Horn Lake Animal Shelter
6410 East Center St, Horn Lake, Mississippi 38637
Phone: 662-393-5857

Tipton County Animal Shelter
8621 Hwy 51S, Brighton, TN
Phone: (901) 837-5919

If you have lost a pet in Millington PLEASE contact http://www.millingtontn.gov/index.aspx?NID=198
You will also need to contact the Memphis Animal Shelter to. Animals are transferred to Memphis from this Millington facility.

Fayette County Animal Control Phone: 901-465-3456