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How to find your lost pet

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If your pet is missing, don't panic! There are a number of ways to get reunited.


Did you plan ahead?

Hopefully you took steps to prepare for something like this:

  • Does your pet have a collar and ID tags? It’s easier to find your dog if they're licensed or wearing a tag with your information on it.
  • It's always a good idea to have a photo of your pet with a detailed description on the back. Give that information to local shelters if your pet gets lost.

Take action right away

Search the area where you last saw your pet. Ask your friends and family to help. You can also report your lost pet to:

  • the Boston Animal Shelter at 617-635-1913 or 617-635-1800
  • the Animal Rescue League at 617-426-9170, and
  • the MSPCA shelter at 617-522-5055.

Be ready to give an accurate description of your pet, including their breed, sex, age, color, and any distinguishing markings.


Create a flyer with your pet's info

Make a flyer for your lost pet and post it around town, give it to local shelters, and put in the newspaper. Include a photo of your pet and the following information:

  • your pet's name, breed, and sex
  • their age, weight, and a physical description
  • their license tag info and rabies tag info
  • the date they got lost and the last place you saw them, and
  • your contact information.

The more aggressive you are, the more likely you are to be reunited. Don't lose faith — we hope you find your pet soon.


Why you should report a found pet

If you found a lost pet, you should report it right away. If you don't file a report and give an accurate description, the owner may never be reunited with their pet. Imagine how you would feel if it was your pet!

You also don't know the behavior and history of this animal. It could be dangerous to you and your family.


Let us know you found the pet

Please note: If the animal has tags with the owner's information on it, contact them directly.

If you find a lost dog, by law you must let us know. Call us at 617-635-1913 or 617-635-1800. We can pick up the dog and bring it to our kennel facility. We'll give the owner seven days to claim their dog.

If you find a lost cat, you'll need to report it to a local humane society. You can call:

  • our shelter at 617-635-1800
  • the Animal Rescue League shelter at 617-426-9170, or
  • the MSPCA at 617-522-5055.
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