Reuniting lost and found pets in Manatee & Sarasota Counties

in partnership with Lost and Found Pets 941

LOST PET SERVICES, INC. IS A NONPROFIT SECTION 501(C)(3) TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATION, IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS OF CHAPTER 496, FLORIDA STATUTES, THE SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS ACT ( REGISTRATION #CH51145).

 A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES AT WWW.800HELPFLA.COM OR BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

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©2017 by Lost Pet Services, Inc.

Action Plan for Lost Dogs

Losing your pet is a very overwhelming and scary experience. We have developed this comprehensive Lost Dog Action Plan to help you get your pet home as quickly as possible.

 

Post here on the Facebook group - Lost and Found Pets 941 first!    

 

We are the largest, most active Lost and Found nonprofit organization in Manatee and Sarasota counties with over 25,000 members who will rally to help find your dog.  We have helped reunite 1000's of lost pets with their families.  

CALL - VISIT - REPORT TO ALL SHELTERS, ANIMAL SERVICES & VETERINARIANS

 

Animal Services and shelters are often the first place people call when they have found a stray pet in their neighborhood.  Call or email all local agencies and report your lost dog.  Contact the following agencies within a 20-mile radius.  Give them all the current information about your dog – color of collar, any tags on the collar, if chipped, spayed or neutered, pictures, breed, etc.   Send shelters within a 60-mile radius a flyer in case someone may have picked up your dog and brought it to a different location.  

ANIMAL SERVICES:


Manatee County: 941-742-5933
Email Manatee Animal Services: Haili.Brooks@mymanatee.org
Sarasota County:  941-861-9501

Email Sarasota County Animal Services at: lostandfound@sarasotasheriff.org

 

HUMANE SOCIETIES:


Manatee County:  941-747-8808  Ext. 315 
Lakewood Ranch:   941-361-1071
Sarasota County:  941-955-4131 

BISHOP ANIMAL SHELTER (SPCA): 941-792-2863 or Email: lostandfound@bishopspca.org - Reports are on file 90 days.

 

HONOR ANIMAL RESCUE:   (941) 747-4900.

 

**IMPORTANT - Animal Services only keeps reports for 30 days.

After 30 days you must place a new report.**

 

YOU MUST VISIT LOCAL SHELTERS

 

It is best to visit at least every 3 days or call every day.  Remember, after a 5-day holding period for dogs and a 3 day holding period for cats, your pet may be put up for adoption.  You have to be certain your pet isn’t there. There is currently a critical overpopulation at the shelters and you cannot take a chance of missing your pet by not going in person to look.  Bring a picture and proof of ownership with you.  Be sure that you have filed a report.

 

NOTIFY MICROCHIP COMPANY

 

If your pet is microchipped, contact the microchip company to make sure your pet’s registration is up-to-date with current phone numbers and contact information.  Many people do not realize that after a year, the chip information most likely will be expired. Our Microchipping Resources page offers links to microchipping services to register and report. 

 

CALL LOCAL VETS


People will often take lost pets to a local vet, especially one that is injured.  Vets will scan for microchips and contact you.  That is why it is imperative to have your microchip information up to date.  Call all nearby vets to see if anyone reported finding your dog.

 

NOTIFY LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS

 

Give the patrol officer a few flyers so that he can help you look and contact you if he finds or sees the dog.  Notify Dispatch so that if neighbors see you lurking around the houses and yards, they can know in advance what you're up to.

 

NOTIFY OTHER PET RELATED BUSINESSES

 

When people find lost pets they may take them to local veterinarians, police stations, kennels, groomers or even pet stores.   It is helpful to have flyers prepared and delivered in person, via email or fax to these other businesses.  You can get one by filling out this Lost / Found Pet report which will generate a free flyer. 

CREATE / POST FLYERS

 

This is the #1 way most pets are reunited with their owners.  This is the most important step in the search process.  

 

By filling in our Lost / Found Pet Reports , a FREE flyer will be created especially for your pet. Print up color copies if affordable or try printing on colored paper.   Your flyer should be kept simple and readable and have two phone numbers on it.   Please put in plastic sheet protectors with the opening at the bottom and be sure to staple in all four corners.  Post it facing the direction of traffic.  

 

Give copies of your flyer to people that walk their dogs in the area. Dogs walking on leashes notice movement that people don’t.  Staple or tape our flyer to a neon poster board with LARGE writing underneath for poster-size signs.

4950 Cooper lost dog FLYER.jpg

LOST PET REPORT

 

Click this link to fill out this Lost Pet Form.  By submitting this form, you are giving consent for Lost Pet Serivces, Inc. to post the information you include (your phone number and email address) on Lost and Found Pets 941 (Lost Pet Services) Facebook  page. This will help facilitate the possible reunion of a lost pet with their owner. Plus, it will generate a free flyer for you to share.

 

TROUBLE UPLOADING THE PHOTOS?

 

If you are having trouble uploading the pet's photo on the form, please forward to Help@941LostPets.com.   A good picture, preferably a full body picture of the pet is important for our posts on flyers and our Facebook group page.

 

IMPORTANCE OF MAKING POSTERS

 

Friends and family and well-meaning people will want to "physically search" for the dog. This is exactly the wrong thing to do.  This will put additional stress on the lost dog and will send him further and further away. The quicker you get the posters up in the area, the quicker you will start getting calls with sightings. Remember to record all sightings of the dog with time, date and exact location.

PLACE SIGN IN YOUR YARD

Make a sign for your yard saying LOST DOG LIVES HERE.  

Give a description and contact information in case you’re not home so people will know where the dog lives if someone finds your pet.   The example of our free flyer blown up helped reunite a dog that was missing for more than a week.

 

This example of our reused campaign signs.  Also,  UPS Stores, OfficeMax, and Staples can also blow up the flyers to create this type of yard sign.

POST SIGNS AND HANG POSTERS -  Very Important

Intersection signs work great in the city and rural areas.  Staple or tape our flyer to a neon poster board with LARGE writing underneath for poster-size signs. You can create this large type of poster using "neon poster board" and a BLACK magic marker. List only basic details with Big BOLD Letters. Intersection signs are highly visible, easier to read than flyers and are known to generate sightings. Gated community entrances should also be a place to post signs.

Make them GIANT so that people driving by cannot miss them.  Make them FLUORESCENT so that the color attracts the attention of everyone.  Put them at major intersections near where you lost your pet (and in areas of sightings).

 WRITE LOST PET INFO ON YOUR CAR WITH NEON MARKERS


Turn your car into a billboard! Use bright florescent window markers (like these) to advertise your lost dog as you drive through your community. Be sure to include: the breed or description of your dog if it is a lesser known breed, list a street, intersection, or neighborhood name, the city or town and your phone number.

 

Keep it to 3-4 lines of information. The letters should be three to four inches tall – any smaller and they won't be easy to read. Use different colors in your message to make it easier to read. You can also include a color photograph of your dog inserted inside a plastic sheet protector and secured to your window with tape.  

 

 

ALERT MAILMAN, UPS & FED EX DRIVERS, CROSSING GUARDS, PAPER BOY, TRASH REMOVAL EMPLOYEES

 

Alert any of these people and give them flyers and contact information.  They are traveling all around the areas and may see your pet. *Remember do not put flyers inside mailboxes. It is a federal offense. You can, however, tape them to the side of your mailbox. Or rubber band them to the mailbox flag.

 

START SEARCHING IMMEDIATELY -  NEVER ASSUME YOUR DOG WAS STOLEN

 

GRAB YOUR PET'S LEASH AND START LOOKING.  People will realize you lost your pet and stop to help.  Do not wait for your dog to come home. The quicker you start your search, the better your chances of being reunited with your dog.

 

KEEP YOUR CELL PHONE ON AT ALL TIMES

 

Your telephone should be manned 24 hours a day. If your dog has an ID tag with your phone number on it, you may very well get a call. If you don't have a cell phone, you might what to purchase a pay-as-you-go phone for this emergency.  Change your voicemail on your phone with a message that you have lost your dog and this is the correct number if you are reporting it found.

MAKE AND HANG LOST PET DOOR HANGERS

 

Click on the DOOR HANGER example or Click Here for a printable Pet Door Hanger.  Keep them BRIEF and to the point.

KEEP YOUR CELL PHONE ON AT ALL TIMES

 

Your telephone should be manned 24 hours a day. If your dog has an ID tag with your phone number on it, you may very well get a call. If you don't have a cell phone, you might what to purchase a pay-as-you-go phone for this emergency.  Change your voicemail on your phone with a message that you have lost your dog and this is the correct number if you are reporting it found.

STAY CONNECTED - ONLINE

 

POST TO CRAIGSLIST

 

Post under the PET and LOST & FOUND sections.  Click on "Post to Classifieds" in the upper left-hand corner. Then click "Community". Next, choose "Lost & Found".  Fill in the form with as many details as possible.   Use the free flyers

generated by filling out the Lost / Found Pet Reports.  They stand out on Craigslist and people will take notice of them.  Make it easy for people to contact you by adding your phone number.
 

POST TO NEXTDOOR.COM

 

Nextdoor.com is a local neighborhood community web page and there is also an app. Many people who are not on Facebook post to nextdoor.com. We have had several dogs reunited using this method.  Set up your nextdoor.com account for as many neighborhoods as you can.

 

POST TO OTHER ONLINE LOST PET SITES

 

Post to LOST PETS OF FLORIDA which is a state-wide lost and found pet site.  

 

LOCAL NEWSPAPER AD

 

Put an ad in the Lost and Found section of the daily newspaper and weekly community newspapers.  Many lost and found ads are free.

 

SEARCH LOCAL AREAS & DROP OFF FLYERS

 

Using Google Maps, draw a circle in a one to two-mile radius around the last sighting and hang or hand out flyers heavily in this radius.  Never assume that your dog will not cross a highway, pond, railroad tracks, or power lines.

 

CHECK INSIDE YOUR HOUSE

 

Start in the house and look in every closet, cabinets, bureau drawers, air ducts, behind appliances, under beds, in the hollow under reclining chairs, under couches, wrapped in the bottom of drapes or blankets, behind clothes washer and dryer, in any hidden recesses, crawl spaces, apartment hallways and any other small hiding places a pet can fit. 

 

CHECK OUTSIDE YOUR HOUSE

 

Carry your pet's leash when you are looking outside.  People will realize you've lost your pet and want to help.  Check the bushes, garage, under vehicles and other small den-like areas on your property to see if your dog is frightened and hiding. 15% of dogs are still on the owner's property.

 

ASK NEIGHBORS TO HELP

 

Have your neighbors check their yard, under porches, garages, crawl spaces, sheds, under boat docks, window wells, barns, broken down cars, and chicken coops. Remember to ask permission before going on their property.

 

VISIT LOCAL BUSINESSES

 

Ask businesses to put your flyers up in their break rooms. Visit the shipping and receiving areas of stores, visiting at different times to meet all the shift workers. Be sure to canvas all the local drive-thru restaurants and bank tellers. Ask for the manager after ordering something off the dollar menu and ask them if you can leave some flyers for their break room and to keep them by the drive-thru window.

 

CALL LOCAL HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT

 

If a pet is hit by a car, the highway maintenance department is called to pick up the dog.  You should contact them directly to see if they received any calls.  Although this would be very difficult news to receive, it would give you closure.  You can also call Animal Services to check this.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & SEARCHING TIPS

 

Enlist friends and family to help with outreach and hanging flyers.  It takes a village to find a lost pet.  Go out and create the village by talking to your neighbors.  Recruit kids, co-workers and other volunteers to help you put up posters and get them up as quickly as possible.

 

ELECTRIC FENCING

 

If your dog bolted out of an electric fenced yard,  turn off the electric fence so your dog will be able to get back into the yard.

 

CARRY A LEASH

 

Don’t go looking without a leash. People will stop to ask if you’ve lost your dog and will offer to help.

 

STINKY TREATS

 

Bring treats with strong smells – hotdogs, hamburger, etc.

 

CRATE/BLANKET

 

Place a blanket/crate where your dog was last seen and put a bowl of smelly food (canned alpo, canned pedigree or tripe) or human food in a bowl near blanket. If you have a hunting trail camera, set it up in this location.

 

IF YOU SPOT THE DOG - DO NOT CHASE, CALL OR WHISTLE

 

This could cause him to panic and run into traffic and possibly cause him or her great injury.  If you live in the country, please do not go out on 4x4 vehicles as this will terrify him and push him out of the area.

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SEE YOUR PET

 

Instruct everyone that is helping you DO NOT CALL or CHASE YOUR DOG.  This will prolong your search.

 

If they see your dog:  Sit or lay down (no eye contact) and gently toss out treats to the side of the dog to lure your dog in.

 

Lost dogs use their natural instincts in order to survive.  They have only three things on their brains - food/water and shelter and keeping themselves safe, which includes staying away from their owners.  Every time people are out searching in the area where your dog was seen they think of this as a threat which then increases their fear towards people causing them to move out of the area.

 

STRESSFUL SITUATIONS CAUSE BOLTING

 

Car accidents, changing foster homes, vet clinic, groomers, rescue transport, etc.  These dogs usually do not travel far unless they are pushed out of the area, chased, or search groups go out searching.   75% of these dogs are eventually recovered on the property they bolted from.

 

WHAT NOT TO DO

Don't panic.
Don't wait.
Don't believe everything people tell you.
Don't call the name of the lost dog.
Don't chase a lost dog!
Don't give up!

NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DOG.

HE NEEDS YOUR HELP TO GET HOME!

 

 

Notice:

LOST PET PHOTOS ARE POSTED TO OUR FACEBOOK AND ON OUR WEBSITE, Twitter, Pinterest and Craigslist as a service to locate and reunite lost pets. Please be informed that by posting to Lost Pet Services, Inc. website or Facebook page and/or requesting that a message regarding your missing pet or a pet you have found be posted, you are giving your consent to make certain private information available for public viewing and hold harmless Lost and Found Pets 941(Lost Pet Services)  and Lost Pet Services, Inc.  This would include name, phone number, picture and/or email address. Please be advised that Lost Pet Services, Inc. through their Facebook group, Lost and Found Pets 941 (Lost Pet Services)  is requesting this information, not Facebook, in order to facilitate the recovery of your missing pet by communicating your contact information to our Facebook page or website.  Lost Pet Services, Inc. is not a rescue and does not have an ownership interest in any of the pets we assist. If you help with placement, transport or foster of any of the pets posted in the page, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless Lost Pets Inc., and its officers and directors of and from any liability, expenses, fines, or damages incurred as a result of any of your participation in any of the foregoing activities.