Thanks to Cindy Roper for putting the bug in my ear. She, Sloan Cunningham, and Jan Hunt contributed to this list. Please provide your advice and lessons learned. Below is the contents of the attached document. The formating looks better in the attachment.
Lost Pet Help - Santa Fe, NM Area – August 2009
What to do now before your pet is lost (it CAN happen to you):
1. Collar and tags
• Pets should be wearing a collar and up to date tags with your current phone number (cell and home). A bright collar that contrasts your pet’s fur color is best. Consider a collar embroidered with your phone number. Sharpie ink fades.
• Custom tags with your phone # can be made at most local pet shops, vets, and shelters. Numbers can rub off the tags so be sure your information is still legible.
• Pets cannot always be traced by rabies tag ID or contact may be delayed if the vet requires your permission to disclose your contact information.
2. Microchip your pet and be sure the company has your most updated contact information
3. Photo - have a recent full body digital photo(s) of your pet showing unique markings
• Have it handy - email it to yourself and a friend and save the email so you have it when you travel.
Once you have determined your pet is missing ACT NOW - DON’T HESITATE!
1. Contact the local Shelter and file a lost pet report
• Visit the Shelter in person as often as possible (some Shelters keep pets only 3 days). Don’t rely on staff to find your dog and call you as they are likely dealing with dozens of new animals every day.
• Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society: http://www.sfhumanesociety.org/LostAndFound.cfm
; 505-983-4309 x 606
2. Contact the local papers
• Usually it’s free and posted for 4 days and you can call to repost. A photo will attract more readers.
• Use a more general location like major cross streets instead of an obscure small street name.
• Santa Fe New Mexican: 505-986-3000; email firstname.lastname@example.org
• The Reporter: 505–983-1212 or email email@example.com
3. Post on Craigslist http://santafe.craigslist.org/
• Post under both COMMUNITY –> PETS and LOST & FOUND. You’ll have to re-word it to post it in two places at once and post every day if you can, or at least every other day
4. Post fliers (and get friends to help!)
• Include your phone number with area code in case someone from out-of-town sees your pet
• Include a recent photo, preferably full body
• Include if the dog was wearing a collar when lost and collar description (collars and tags can fall off and someone may find the collar which may not have your contact information)
• Consider using waterproof plastic sheet protectors or ziplock bags
• Kinko’s (depending on the employee) will print 50 black and white or 20 color copies for free
5. Hand out fliers (and get friends to help!)
• Go door to door around your neighborhood or point last sighted
• Stop cars, joggers, bike riders, and delivery drivers (mail, FedEx, UPS, propane, phone, etc.)
6. Search for lost pets on Petharbor http://www.petharbor.com/
• Check all other Shelters in your vicinity for LOST pets. It’s best not to specify a BREED in your search as so many mixes are ambiguous. Consider not filtering by age or sex either as this can be subjective or entered incorrectly. You can sort by DATE received on this website, BUT not all Shelters post dates. Some Shelters take a few days to post a photo so check back frequently and call or visit the Shelter if you can.
• Other Shelters and Rescue groups not on Petharbor (like Raton, NM) may be on Petfinder: http://www.petfinder.com/awo/index.cgi?action=state&state=NM&am...
7. Post your missing pet on websites such as:
(Santa Fe area only)
• Other breed specific rescue websites: http://www.petfinder.com/index.html
(Border Collie X for example http://www.nmbordercollierescue.com/lost-and-found-database
8. Consider using a paid lost/found pet service to call or mail fliers to 100s of your neighbors
will call 500 people in your neighborhood for $100 (landlines only); or http://www.findtoto.com
will mail postcards
9. Don’t lose hope! Pets have found their way home weeks, months, and years after being lost! Happy stories of lost pets found: https://www.findtoto.com/pet-found.html
10. Put a t-shirt or cloth with your scent and some dog food at the last place you saw your pet and recheck this site often. We know of one lost dog found this way in Santa Fe in Feb 2010.
Once the pet is found:
• CELEBRATE and tell everyone!
• REMOVE FLIERS
• Post the good news on all the lost pet websites and tell them what “worked” and led you to find your dog so the search can be concentrated on those still missing, and those still searching can learn from your experience
Other lost pet help links:
• Lost pet behavior: http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-lostdog.php
Where to post fliers (if allowed) – the obvious and not so obvious:
• On main access roads, but not on road safety signs
• Mailbox clusters especially in rural areas
• Community meeting places like volunteer fire departments, churches, schools
• Grocery stores, restaurants, pet stores, vet offices….
• Bicycle shops: bike riding clubs are often out early riding main roads when there’s less traffic, but it may be the time your dog is out roaming
• Sporting Goods/Outdoors Shops
• Local government agencies (city, county, state, federal) – building inspectors, water meter readers, trash collectors, weed control crews, govt employees who are out and about during the day
• Emergency Vet (in Santa Fe 984-0625 near Rodeo Rd and Sawmill) and other local vet offices
• Rural areas dog owners may want to consider training your dog to a mechanical whistle. The sound is distinguishable to your dog and carries much further than your voice.
• Call your Home Owner’s Assoc or Neighborhood Watch leader (if you have one) to see if they can email an emergency lost pet alert to everyone in your subdivision
• If you move/change phone numbers be sure your pets tags are updated and on the pet when the change happens.
• Consider special tags for your pet when you are out of town such as one with your pet sitters phone number
• Contact your vet to let them know the pet is missing in case someone calls trying to get your contact information from your pet’s rabies tag
If you see a dog, injured or in traffic call:
• In SF city limits, Animal Services is at 955-2701. On weekends and holidays, call SFPD dispatch at 955-2700.
• In SF county, Animal Control is at 992-1626. On weekends and holidays, call Sheriff's dispatch at 428-3720.
• If you see a pet running loose and can’t catch it take a photo if you can and watch (or post) Craigslist and the papers
Spiritual help ideas and contacts – please list your ideas and contacts on the forum!