What To Do When You’ve Lost Your Pet …
Types of Identification
- Never underestimate the value of the dog tag! It is the single most important thing you can do to insure that your pet can be identified and returned home. It is cheap, and readily available.
- Microchip! It is a permanent means of identification, so your pet will never lose it! In addition, if properly registered, it is proof that you are the owner of the animal. Make sure you keep this info up to date.
Ads in Publications (craigslist, local and city-wide newspapers, online ads)
The most effective listings for a lost animal give the following information:
- Where the animal was lost: City and street name, with cross streets.
- When the animal was lost: Date and a general time of day, if known.
- A description of the animal, including color and markings: Name, age, approximate size and/or weight and sex. Giving a breed or species name is not enough. Be specific with unusual markings, and mention if the animal was wearing tags, a collar or a microchip.
- Contact Information: You must include contact information: Name, phone number, and email are strongly suggested.
- Other information: The circumstances of how your animal was lost can be helpful, for instance, if your dog was frightened by fireworks, he may have spent quite a while running. If you are offering a reward, this is where it would be mentioned.
- Post on Facebook
- Send to friends & family
- Post this info to shelter sites if available
Creating a Flyer
You don’t need anything fancy to get the word out about your lost pet! Grab a piece of paper and a marker, and get to work! All you really need is:
- A clear, recent photo of your pet, and
- A phone number where someone will answer calls or where there is an answering machine.
Flyers can be posted in local pet shops, shelters, grooming businesses, veterinarians, or any other pet friendly place (with permission from the business owner). Hand them out to people in the neighborhood who regularly walk the area.
Although finding a lost animal often seems to depend on luck, it is luck you can help make.
- Knock on doors and talk to people in the neighborhood.
- Hand out flyers with your pet’s picture on them and your contact information.
- Go to all local shelters yourself, at least every other day, even if your pet has tags.
GO TO THE SHELTERS — Don’t Just Call!
Your pet may not yet be listed in the records at the front desk, and the way you describe your pet may not be the way a shelter describes your dog. Sometimes it takes more than a few days for a pet to be picked up and brought to a shelter. Check the shelter’s website—many post photos of animals brought in.
It’s important to visit all the shelters within 20 miles of where your pet was lost. If someone took your pet in for a few days hoping you would knock on their door and ask about it, they might later drop your pet off at the shelter that’s most convenient for them DON’T GIVE UP!
Area Shelters to Check
Kern County Animal Services
Service Areas: All unincorporated communities of Kern County
Bakersfield Animal Shelter (Map)
3951 Fruitvale Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93308
County Shelter Hours and Website
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday: 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed Sundays and County holidays
Bakersfield Animal Shelter website
Mojave Animal Shelter (Map)
923 Poole Street, Mojave Airport
Mojave, CA 93501
Main Number: (661) 824-1030
Lake Isabella Animal Shelter (Map)
14891 Highway 178
Lake Isabella, CA 93240
Main Number: (760) 378-1131
City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center
City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center (Map)
201 South Mt. Vernon Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93307
City Shelter Hours and Website
Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed Sundays, Mondays and City holidays
City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center website
Bakersfield SPCA (Map)
3000 Gibson Street
Bakersfield, CA 93308
661-323-8353, ext. 2
SPCA Hours and Website
Monday through Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Sundays and certain holidays
Bakersfield SPCA website