– by Holly Miley

Losing your pet can be a traumatic experience for the both of you. Here are some tips on how to reunite with your pet.

1. Make sure your pet has the following: 

● Microchip

● Current ID tags

● Collars

● Licensing tags (required for some counties)

2. Contact local shelters and animal control

● File a lost animal report with local animal shelters and animal control agencies within a 60 mile radius of your home or where your pet became lost. Most lost and found animals can be found with animal control agencies, and some of these agencies may have a website where you can view the animals. If you live in the Reno area, you can file a missing pet report with Washoe County Regional Animal Services here and you can view found pets here.

● If there is no animal shelter or animal control agency close to you, file a lost animal report with your local police department. Provide all agencies with a description and a recent photograph of your pet. Notify your local police department if you believe your pet was stolen.

● If your animal is microchipped, contact your pet’s microchip company so they can send out a missing pet alert.

3. Search the neighborhood

● Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times a day. Ask neighbors and mail carriers if they have seen your pet. Hand out recent photographs of your pet and your contact information if the pet is found. Some pets may hide during the day time, so be sure to check at night too.

● Leave out something that smells like your pet like their bed or blankets. Also leave out something that smells like you like a jacket you wear often.

4. Advertise

● Post notices in grocery stores, community centers, veterinary clinics, traffic intersections, and pet supply stores. Place advertisements in local newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet’s breed, sex, age, weight, color, and any special markings.

● Reach out to local pages on social media for lost and found pets and neighborhood watch pages. Most neighborhoods use apps like NextDoor to keep their communities updated. Post about your lost pet on those pages.

4. Beware of pet recovery scams

● When talking with a stranger who claims to have your pet, ask them to thoroughly describe your pet before you offer any information. If they don’t include any of the characteristics you left out on the advertisements, they may not have your pet. Be especially wary of people who insist that you transfer or wire them money for the return of your pet.

Local Resources

Local Resources (Northern Nevada):

● Washoe County:

● Lyon County:

● Humboldt County:

  • 775-623-6403, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm

● Churchill County:

  • 775-423-2282, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Mon-Sat

● Pershing County:

  • 775-273-7297, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Mon-Fri

● Douglas County:

● Mineral County:

● Storey County:

Local Resources (Northern California):

● Plumas County:

● Sierra County:

● Nevada County:

● Placer County:

● El Dorado County:

● Lassen County

  • 530-257-9200, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Mon-Sa

Even pets that have been recorded missing for many months have been reunited with their families. Above all, be patient and don’t give up!