What to do if you’ve lost your dog

Download the lost dog tips PDF

Begin looking for your pet immediately

Don’t wait for your pet to find their way home. Just because they’ve run away before and made it back home safely doesn’t guarantee they will this time.

Check the Animal Resource Center (that’s us!)

First, “Register A Dog Lost” on our website under the Lost and Found page. Don’t worry, just because your pet isn’t at the shelter right now doesn’t mean they won’t eventually end up here. Lost dogs at ARC or those found by the public can be viewed on our lost and found page. If you see a dog that may be yours, stop by and a staff member will accompany you through our kennels. A valid photo ID is required.

Check social media

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor are great for spreading the word that your pet is lost. Create a post with a picture of your pet and ask friends to share it. There are also specific Facebook pages dedicated to reuniting lost pets with their owners.

Register your pet with Petco Love Lost

Registration is free and simple! Visit https://lost.petcolove.org/. If your dog becomes lost, upload a photo of your pet. That photo is scanned against all stray pets currently in shelters. Using facial recognition, Petco Love Lost will then display any pets whose faces may be a match.

Create flyers

Create flyers with an easily recognizable photo of your pet. Post them throughout your neighborhood and at local businesses, with permission.

Check with other area agencies

SICSA (937) 294-6505
Humane Society of Greater Dayton (937) 268-7387
Butler County Animal Shelter (513) 867-5727
Clark County Animal Shelter (937) 521-2140
Darke County Animal Shelter (937) 547-1645
Greene County Animal Shelter (937) 562-7400
Miami County Animal Shelter (937) 332-6919
Preble County Animal Shelter (937) 456-4818
Warren County Animal Shelter (513) 695-1352

Place a “Lost” ad in local newspapers

The Dayton Daily News offers free 3-line ads that run for three consecutive days in both the newspaper and on their website. Each additional line after the third is $3. Up to 10 photos can be added to the online portion of an ad at no additional charge. To add a photo to the newspaper is an additional $10. Ads can be placed over the phone by calling (937) 610-7301 or by visiting https://classifieds.daytondailynews.com/.

I found my pet! Now what?

Make sure your dog is wearing a valid license

It is legally required that dogs over three months of age wear a valid license in Ohio, but did you know it can help your furry friend find their way home faster? A Montgomery County license can be traced 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through the Montgomery County Auditor’s website. This allows anyone who finds your dog to return them to you. Should your pup end up at the shelter, a license also provides legal proof of ownership and ensures that your dog will be held for 14 days before becoming property of the county. This is quite comforting compared to the three days that an unlicensed dog is held before becoming county property.

Have your pet microchipped

We understand that pets can be escape artists, and some are even capable of slipping out of their collar, leaving them without a license. In addition to their license, consider having your pet microchipped. The ARC provides this service for $25 per animal. No appointment necessary.

Spay or neuter your pet

Unaltered pets are more likely to run off looking for a mate. Avoid the heartache of a lost pet (and the surprise of an unexpected litter!) and have your pet fixed.

Do not leave your pet outside unsupervised

Aside from avoiding them becoming lost, keeping an eye on your pet can keep them safe from other animals, people and dangerous situations.

Provide your pet with regular exercise

A well-exercised pet is a tired pet – and tired pets are less likely to run off!