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A Pet Owner's Worst Fear: A Lost Pet

Tips on what to do if your pet gets out

Escaping through a broken fence. Darting out of an open door. Running off during a thunderstorm.

There are many ways your pet can go missing, and it can be a frightening and emotional experience.

Here are a few tips from Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center on how best to find a lost furry friend.

  1. Create flyers with the most recent photo of your pet, as well as your contact information and the date your pet went missing, to print out and post in the same area your pet was last seen.
  2. Visit the Lost and Found Pets of Hillsborough County Facebook page, as well as Nextdoor for your area, to check to see if someone posted about finding your pet. If you don't see a listing, post a lost pet notice with the same information that is on your flyer, along with the area where your pet went missing, in case someone does find your pet and looks online to reunite.
  3. Search for your pet in the stray pets section of PRC's online kennel to see if he or she was brought into PRC or Humane Society of Tampa Bay. If your pet has been missing for more than three days, PRC suggests looking through the general dogs and cats online kennel. If you do see your pet, call PRC at (813) 744-5660 to identify him or her. You must reclaim your lost pet in person at PRC during regular shelter hours.
  4. Can't tell if it's your pet or not from the photos online? Visit PRC at 440 N. Falkenburg Road during regular shelter hours to view all pets currently at the shelter in person.

Want to help speed up the reunion process if your pet goes missing?

  • Microchip your pet. Did you know if your pet is microchipped, it is 20 times more likely to be reunited with you than if your pet doesn't have one? Microchipping is a simple procedure that your veterinarian can do for you. Once microchipped, make sure you continue to update your contact information with the microchip company. All shelters and many veterinarian offices have a microchip scanner and can access the contact information easily to help reunite lost pets with owners quickly.
  • Have your contact information on your pet's collar, either on the collar or ID tags attached to the collar, so someone can call you directly if they find your pet.

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