Losing your pet is a very traumatic experience. It's important to stay calm so that you can search for your pet and hopefully be reunited. There are a number of steps you should take as soon as your pet goes missing. If your pet is not immediately found, keep repeating the steps. Don't give up looking for your pet too early!
- As soon as you notice your dog or cat missing, immediately check around your home and neighbourhood
- Ask friends and neighbours if they have seen your pet
- If your pet is not found after your initial search, contact 311 and file a lost animal report
- Be prepared to provide a description of your pet, licence number and tattoo or microchip number if applicable
Visit our shelters in person. Only you can identify your missing pet. Make sure to also check the local veterinary clinics and humane societies.
If we don't have your pet
If your pet is not at one of our shelters you should:
1. Register your pet with Helping Lost Pets
Helping Lost Pets is a system that can help return a lost pet back home. The system lists lost and found reports posted within your community and across North America. You can see a map of the area in which you live and attach a photo to a Lost or Found report to help owners and finders determine if the pets match.
Helping Lost Pets allows you to:
- Automatically search stray animals in our shelters and in the community
- Post free Lost & Found reports
- Print free Lost & Found posters
- Receive e-mails of potential pet matches
- Register yourself and your pets for FREE on Helping Lost Pets to be ready just in case your pet goes missing
- Easily update your profile and provide care instructions for your pet
- Upload a picture of your pet
- Connect members to help search for missing pets
- Post flyers in the area where your pet was last seen and around your neighbourhood in as many of the following locations as possible:
- Veterinarian offices
- Animal Shelters
- Bulletin boards
- Distribute flyers to delivery people in your area (not 100% sure what this means)
- If someone responds to your flyer check it out even if it far away. Animals have been found miles from where they were originally lost.
Once your pet has been found, please:
- Inform Toronto Animal Services.
- Update your Helping Lost Pets posting.
- Remove all flyers you have posted.
If you find a lost dog or cat wearing a City of Toronto tag, contact 311. If the animal does not have any identification tags, bring it to one of our shelters.
The animal will be scanned for a microchip which may provide information on the registered owner as well as check our lost animal reports. We will also place the animal in public view.