Lost and Found

Lost and Found 1

No, I am not missing. Are you kidding? I’m rarely if ever more than five feet from my humans.

Poster 2 thek9harperlee

But my mommy and I walk almost every single day, and we far too often see missing pet notices like this one in our neighborhood. It makes us sad for the pets and their humans who are separated from each other. Mommy and I both know that we would be frantic if we couldn’t find each other, so we started thinking about some tips that can help to keep humans and their pets together.


Wear collars with up-to-date tags – Many times the notices for missing pets include this line. “Not wearing collar or tags.” If only. I always wear my collar. Let’s face it, it’s kind of a fashion statement, plus it holds three very important tags. The first is my ID tag, which includes my name, my street address, and my mommy’s cell phone number. My street address is on there just in case I get out and someone in the neighborhood finds me. They could easily walk me back to my house. My mommy’s cell phone number is on there just in case I’m out of town with my humans and get lost and someone finds me and calls her. My second tag is my rabies vaccination tag. It has the phone number for our local animal control and an ID number that is just for me. My third tag lets people know that I have been chipped. It has a phone number for the chip registry and my chip ID number. Those are my three important tags. Occasionally I add a little bling to my collar, but those three tags are always there. Mommy and I once found a loose dog who was wearing his collar, and it had tags, but the tags had old information because his family had recently moved into our neighborhood. Fortunately we were able to find his new home, and we hope he’s now wearing new tags.

Lost and Found 4 thek9harperlee

Secure outdoor areas – On one of our neighborhood outings, Mommy and I found a loose dog (luckily he was wearing his collar and tags) and walked him back to his house. Turned out his human had let him out the back door without realizing that her gate was open. Our gate leaves a little bit to be desired. It doesn’t quite close properly, and one little push sends it flying open. So my humans have secured it with a heavy chain and a lock. They know that I won’t accidentally open the gate (when I kind of sort of jump against it because I want to say hello to someone on the other side) and they know that it will not have been accidentally left open when they let me outside to . . . well, you know.

Know your neighborhood and your neighbors and make sure they know you – As I said, Mommy and I walk almost daily around my neighborhood, and we don’t always take the same route. Mommy thinks that if I approach my house from all possible directions I just might remember how to get back if I get lost. We hope we never have to find out whether or not she’s right, but it’s worth a shot. While we’re walking, we stop to meet and greet our two- and four-legged neighbors. We make sure they know who we are and where we live, and we learn their names and where they live. On more than one occasion, being social has paid off when we’ve recognized one of our doggy friends out for an unsupervised jaunt and returned him to his home. We hope that one of our friendly neighbors would return the favor if I ever decided to leave my humans behind and take a solo walk.

Lost and Found 5 thek9harperlee

Turn to social media – If, heaven forbid, you and your humans are ever separated, or if you happen to come across a loose and tagless pet that you don’t recognize, you can always turn to social media. Our neighborhood has a Facebook page that often becomes a clearinghouse for lost and found pets. There’s a similar page that covers our entire city. Every day, we see lost and found notices on Twitter and Instagram, and we always smile when we see posts saying that pet and human have been reunited.

Hopefully these little tips will help prevent pets and their humans from becoming separated and will assist those who have been separated to reunite as quickly as possible. Do you have some tips to share? If our helpful hints can prevent just one pet from becoming lost or can help just one human find the furry love of his or her life, we will have done a very good deed!


47 Comments on “Lost and Found”

  1. PigLove says:

    These are wonderful tips my friend – WONDERFUL. Hopefully you will never stray far from your family but if you do, it’s great to be prepared. The purr things here have collars with tag information as well as being chipped. Myself – well it helps when you are the only piggy in the neighborhood. Mom/dad are extremely careful with me because some people in the hood don’t look at me as being cute like you. They look at me and drool – the nerve of them! XOXO – Bacon

  2. Kuruk says:

    These are wonderful tips Miss Lee! And you look stunning in your purple necklace with your three medallions! WOoooooowoooooooo! I always wear my purple bow tie with my medallion and I am chipped! Of course I would never never ever ever leave my Mama’s side! 🙂

  3. I’m glad your not lost and so sad other animals are. Thank you for posting up great tips.

  4. Great post, and so important. There are so many easy things we can do to help our lost pets get back home to us. I wish more people did these things.

    I know you’re already wearing 3 tags, but I’m giving away a digital ID tag or collar from PetHub – you might want to check it out!


  5. MH Hatcher says:

    Harper Lee – these are wonderful tips! Thank you!!! Just the other day, my mommy let me outside and guess what? Someone left our side fence open! We’re still trying to figure out who it was but anyway, when Mommy called me back in, I was outside of the fence but still at my house. I ran back to Mommy and she was SO HAPPY! We used to keep locks on our gates and I’m thinking we should start again.

    • Oh, Jefferson, I’m so happy you ended up safe and sound back by your mommy’s side where you belong! If you’re anything like me (and I know you are), you realize that life is much, much better inside the fence than outside. 😉

  6. Emma says:

    I think Mom would die if one of us went missing. We lost a cat once and she still thinks about him. Very scary to get lost!

    • My late canine sister Lexi was a “flight risk.” She managed to escape a few times, and Mommy was frantic . . . even though Lexi was not Mommy’s favorite. 😉 Luckily, we always found her and brought her back home, where she belonged. 🙂

  7. slimdoggy says:

    Great tips Harper – we’ve lost our dogs for no more than 5 minutes at a time…well they weren’t lost, but they were lost to me. I was frantic, so always keep them very close and on leash.

  8. These are some really pawesome tips, thank you for sharing them! I have never been lost, and I and my Momma BOTH work very hard at not letting that ever happen…ever. These tips can help with that, for sure!

  9. Ogee says:

    What a great idea to have a FB page by neighborhood. Lots of folks here turn to Craigslist as well, which offers free lost/found pet listings. Thanks for the good tips!

    • My little terrier friend Abby who used to live across the street found herself in need of a new home when her human passed away, and our neighborhood Facebook page was instrumental in finding the perfect new home for her right around the corner. I love that! Thanks for mentioning the Craigslist pet lost and found listings. I didn’t know about that, but will be sure to point people in that direction also!

  10. Rebekah says:

    These are wonderful. This is one of my worst fears, having one of my dogs be lost. Locally we have a Facebook page, Indianapolis Lost Pet Alert, that has garnered national attention with their success at reuniting pets with people. I read the updates nearly every day, and it warms my heart to know that I live near a community with so many pet lovers. Some people will go out in sub zero temperatures to search for an animal that was sighted in an area, and take in lost dogs and shelter them until there owners can be found.

    Thanks for this helpful post.

  11. Marcie says:

    Great tips! It’s always sad to see the posters of the lost pets. I’m glad you always stay close by your mommy! 🙂

    • Thank you. Those posters are really sad, and it’s even more sad when they’re up for weeks and weeks and weeks. I like to think that pet and human have been reunited and the human has been so busying loving the pet that there just hasn’t been time to take down the poster. 😉

  12. This is excellent advice, Miss Harper Lee. Our vet also implanted Maggie’s very own “chip”–and it didn’t hurt her!–Now, when we travel, if Maggie would lose her ID, any veterinarian anywhere can wave a wand over her and get her information.

  13. OMD!! Our collective hearts dropped!! You scared the furs off us Miss HL!! *PHEW* we’re glad you aren’t lost and those are pawsome tips. Mom follows a SA Scottie Facebook group and she cannot believe the number of pups that go missing or are found every. single. day without tags or chips…it frustrates her terribly and makes us very sad.
    Wally & Sammy

  14. rmudge says:

    Great tips! I have found lost doggies before too. They didn’t have a collar and I had to keep them in my backyard and go around the neighborhood passing out flyers. Their dad happened to live just around the block.

    • Isn’t it sad how people who find loose dogs are so determined to find their homes rather than the people who lose their dogs being frantic to find them? If I were missing, my mommy would be running up and down the street like a crazy person. 🙂

      • rmudge says:

        I agree with you 100%. If either of my kitties were missing I would be totally out of my mind until I found them. As introverted as I am, I would knock on every door in my apartment complex and put posters everywhere in town. Fortunately, Cinco and Manna are indoor cats and they have no desire to go outside (except maybe on the balcony for a nap in the sun).

  15. Sam says:

    My sister takes her pups collars off – she says the tag noise irritates her. I’ve bought her tag bags and tag silencers but she still won’t keep them on. I, on the other paw, am manic about making sure the tags are on, readable (replaced every year), and contain all of our contact information.

    Monty and Harlow

    • You sound just like my mommy, and my mommy actually finds that tag jingle to be comforting because it means that I am nearby. Maybe your sister should look into those collars that have the name and phone number printed on them. Just a thought.

  16. ThatJenK says:

    MIGHT have had a little bit of a heart attack after that first picture, but hey – good to get the blood flowing in the morning, right?
    Good advice. Here, there’s a huge Twitter base for lost (and found) pet tweets, and it’s worked at reuniting pets and owners a few times, which is great! Even the Mayor gets involved!
    I’d also recommend notifying local vets, rescues, and the city animal control just so they know to look if someone surrenders a found pet.

  17. OhMelvin says:

    Awesome tips! It is better to be ready, because if it ever happens, you are almost too panicked to think through this!

  18. Thanks for all the tips MHL. I used to have a Golden like you who I trained to find lost dogs. People often don’t take your advise and the results are disastrous. Some day when you have time go to http://danehygoldens.com/Danehy_Goldens/Kelseys_Tribute.html to see what we did to help find lost dogs.

    • I think it’s so fantastic that you and your dog did that. You made a lot of pets and their people very happy. When my mommy visited your website to look at puppy pictures (she just couldn’t help herself!), she read all about your wonderful work. 🙂

  19. Anna Coffin says:

    Great tips. I’m a veterinarian and have returned several pets to their proper home due to microchips. Social media is also been very helpful finding missing animals and also placing stray and abandoned animals.

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