One in three pets will become lost at some point during their lives. Nobody thinks it will happen to their animal — until it does. Every year, San Diego Humane Society receives nearly 15,000 stray pets and only 25% of them are reunited with their families. The good news is that there are easy steps you can take to boost your chances of finding your pet in case they become lost:
- Make sure your pet is wearing a secure collar with an ID tag that has current contact information. A collar with tags is the easiest and fastest way to reunite a lost pet with his or her family.
- Have your pet microchipped and make sure the contact information stays up-to-date. Veterinary offices and shelters can quickly scan lost pets for microchips and contact owners.
- If you have a dog, a current license can help shelters identify your pet and reduce reclaim fees. For more information, visit sdhumane.org/licensing.
- Keep current photos of your pets on your phone and computer in case you need to make lost pet flyers, post on Nextdoor or file a report.
- Register your dog on FindingRover.com, a facial recognition app that helps quickly reunite lost pets with their owners.
- If your pet gets lost, visit San Diego Humane Society’s Lost Pets page at sdhumane.org/lost to see if someone has found and reported your animal.
All dogs, cats and rabbits adopted out by San Diego Humane Society are microchipped. If the adopters live within San Diego Humane Society’s jurisdiction, they also come with a one-year license included.
“If all pets had a microchip and a collar, we’d be able to reunite so many more lost pets with their families,” said San Diego Humane Society Chief Operating Officer Jessica Des Lauriers. “If anyone needs assistance getting a collar or a microchip, come to us at San Diego Humane Society and we will help you.”
If you find a pet, you may be able to reunite them with their owner without going to a shelter. Often, the lost pet lives in your neighborhood, just a few blocks away. “Posting about a lost or found pet on social media, like a community group, is a highly successful tool for reuniting them with their families within 24 hours,” said Des Lauriers.
If you can’t care for the stray pet, you can bring them to San Diego Humane Society’s campuses in El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside or San Diego between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday (no appointment necessary).
As an open admission shelter, San Diego Humane Society never turns an animal away. After hours, call 619-299-7012 (press 1) or your local law enforcement agency for next steps. For more lost and found resources, visit sdhumane.org/returnhome.