Lost or found a pet?
Lost or found a pet?

Helpful Tips and Resources

Your approach to finding your cat or dog will depend a lot on their personality and how socialized they are. If a skittish cat or dog gets out, it is less likely to approach people. House cats that escape tend to stick close to home, but won’t make a sound, even if they know you. Dogs will usually run until someone is able to catch them. If your animal does get lost, time is of the essence. Here are some actions you can take whether you’ve lost or found a dog or cat:

  • For lost cats, check high and low for dark hiding spots within 3 houses of yours. S/he could be locked in a neighbor’s shed or garage, so ask neighbors if they can check. Ask neighbors if they’ve seen your pet.

  • For a found animal, take it to the nearest veterinarian where they will do a free microchip scan to locate the owner.

  • File a lost or found report at your nearest shelter. In the Treasure Valley, that would be the Idaho Humane Society for the Boise area and West Valley Humane Society for the Nampa/Caldwell residents. This step is time-critical as there is a short hold period for animals after which they can be put up for adoption or euthanized if unclaimed.

  • Post a free ad on craigslist.org community/pets and community lost/found. If you found a pet, leave out some identifying information so the caller has to positively identify the animal or show you a photo. Sadly, there are people who pick up free animals for bad reasons.

  • Post in Lost and Found Facebook groups. Here are a few: 208 Lost and Found Pets, Lost & Found Pets Kuna, Idaho, LOST & FOUND Pets BOISE Idaho, and Treasure Valley Missing/found/spotted Pets!

  • Post a lost or found pet on Nextdoor.com to alert neighbors.

  • Keep in mind that most cats, especially inside cats, do not go very far. They tend to stay within a five-house radius for the first few days and weeks. They lay low.

  • Appeal to the pet’s sense of smell, put some of their favorite toys, bedding, and litterbox outside to attract them back home. It is not recommended to put food out as it will attract predators.

Prevention and Safety

Idaho has many predators, both animal, and human. Animal predators that can take out a cat, kitten, or small dog are hawks, eagles, owls, and coyotes, attacking often at night, but have been known to swoop in during the day for their meal. Make sure your pets are safe inside, especially at night. Check into DIY perimeter cat fences and catios to help protect cats.

Some people do not want animals using their yard as a potty or don’t want animals in their yard. Your pet is at risk of being shot, trapped, dumped, or killed. In Idaho, there’s not a lot of resource for you, as a pet owner, as the state’s animal cruelty laws are solely lacking. You must have proof of cruelty by a person and that’s usually difficult to achieve. Watch your pet as you would your child.

Lost Pet Webpage Links

[Be alert  for online scams and responses requesting additional pet or owner information and/or requests for payments for returning pets]

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