Lost & Found Tips

Prevent Your Pet From Becoming Lost

  • Do: Make certain your dog or cat wears a collar with a rabies tag, City license or other identification tag at all times. These tags are a lost pet's ticket home.
  • Do: Microchip your pet. Microchipped animals have a much higher chance of being reunited with their families.
  • Do: Take photographs of your pet. If your pet does become lost, photos used in a lost ad, on a flyer, or left at your local shelter can help identify your pet.
  • Do: Keep your pet safely confined at all times to your house or fenced yard. If your dog requires more exercise, walk him on a leash. It's great fun for him and good for your health too! Cats can live long, safe and happy lives completely indoors. With a litter box, toys and a scratching post, they never need to go outside.
  • Do: Vary the times your dog is out in his fenced yard. A set routine may help someone know when would be a good time to steal your pet.
  • Do: Put a lock on your gate to keep unauthorized persons from entering your yard and removing your dog.
  • Don't: Allow your cat or dog to roam free. Dogs should be confined at all times in a fence or in your home. Cats should be confined indoors.
  • Animal theft is big business to unscrupulous persons who sell animals for breeding or for experimentation in laboratories. Even good people who believe they are rescuing an animal may pick up your pet only to have it escape from them on the other side of town or even in a different city.
  • It only takes one time to lose a beloved pet forever!
  • Don't: Leave your home and leave your pet unattended in your yard, even inside a fence. A stranger can easily enter your yard and remove your pet.

When You Have Lost a Pet

  • Do: Visit all of the local shelters in person to look for your pet. Do this every 2 to 3 days. Remember, you know what your pet looks like; shelter people don't know him!
  • Do: Post online on Lost and Found Facebook groups, NextDoor, and Pawboost.
  • Do: Be wary of pet theft for extortion. Any such attempt to extort money from you should be reported to your animal control or police department immediately.
  • Do: Make up a simple flyer, with a photo if possible, for distribution in your neighborhood grocery stores, veterinary hospitals, grooming parlors, pet stores and local shelters.
  • Do: Ask your mail carrier, newspaper carrier, meter reader, and the children in your neighborhood to keep an eye out for your pet.
  • Don't: Call your local shelters by telephone. Many shelters do not take lost reports by telephone or without a photo, nor will they confirm or deny pickups of animals over the phone. They do not want to take the chance that they might not recognize your pet from a phone description.
  • You need to actually visit shelters and look for your pet. Pets are often found miles away from the place where they were lost, or are turned in to shelters in a completely different city!
  • Don't: Meet any person who attempts to extort money from you for the return of your pet alone. You may agree to appease that person, but make sure you are accompanied by a police officer or animal control officer.

After You Have Found Your Pet

  • Do: Let shelters and everyone know so that they can remove your flyer and concentrate on animals still lost.
  • Do: Look at the steps to prevent the loss of a pet. Follow them to prevent this heartache from happening again. You may not be so lucky a second time!

When You Have Found Someone's Pet

  • Do: Check the animal for identification, such as tags on his collar. Write down the information, such as numbers, year, and veterinary hospital. Your local shelter can help you trace identification.
  • Do: Visit a shelter or veterinarian near you to have the animal "scanned" for a microchip. Many owners are having their pets implanted with identifying microchips as a sure source of identification that cannot be removed.
  • Do: Turn the animal into a shelter if you cannot find the owner or keep him with you. That is the most likely place for an owner to look for him, and if not claimed, he may be adopted by someone else. To simply turn him loose is cruel and may even end in him being killed by a car or other animals.
  • Don't: Ignore him. He needs your help before he falls into the wrong hands or is killed or injured in traffic.

For Further Information 

Please call the Chesapeake Animal Services Unit at 757-382-8080.

Report A Stray Animal

Please call the Chesapeake Police Department's Non-Emergency line at 757-382-6161.