How to Find A Lost Dog or Lost Cat

Lost Pets

Search Lost Pets or Post Your Missing Pet

Found Pets

Search Found Pets or Posta a Pet You've Found

Additional Lost and Found Pet Resources

Here at petkey we love animals and we are dedicated to helping reunite lost pets with their families as quickly as possible. Since our pets are not able to speak for themselves it is very important that when they go missing we get the word out as quickly as possible. To help we offer FREE listings on our North American Wide Lost and Found Pet Classifieds.
Here are some tips and resources for finding missing pets.

Proper Identification

Along with getting the word out that your pet is missing, proper identification is the most important thing you can do for your pet to help them get back home safely. Even if your pet stays indoors at all times there is still a chance they might get scared or curious and slip out the door. Possible forms of identification that are appropriate for your pet include:

  • A Collar with a visible and readable ID Tag. If possible your pet should wear a collar with an ID tag that lists at least one contact phone number. Multiple phone numbers are ideal in case your pet goes missing while you are out of town. Make sure you check your pet's ID tag from time to time to make sure the numbers have not been worn off from every day wear or if your pet has been chewing on their tag.
  • A Pet Microchip. Microchips are a safe, effective, and permanent way to identify your pet. Inserting a microchip is quick and can be performed by your vet. Microchips are very small in size similar to a grain of rice so your pet will not even notice that they have a microchip. How does pet microchipping work?
  • A Pet GPS Collar. GPS technology has decreased in size enough that it can be incorporated into a collar or a device that will fit on your pet’s collar to be used to track the location of your pet. Keep in mind these devices require power and frequent charging so they should be used to supplement to the previous two Identification options.
Important Reminder!!! if your contact information changes be sure to update your pet's microchip account and their ID tag otherwise these forms of ID can become useless.

If your pet does go missing here are other things you should do.

  • Notify as many people as possible as quickly as possible. The fact is that people find pets and the more eyes looking for your pet the better. You will need to generate a lost pet poster that includes a picture of your pet and very clearly lists the identify details of your pet. Example: Simply listing LOST YELLOW DOG and your phone number is not going to be descriptive enough to catch someone’s attention as it could very well match the description of several missing pets in your area. As a petkey member, a professional lost pet poster will automatically be generated as soon as you notify us that your pet is missing either online or over the phone. In addition we will help you get the word out by sending a copy of your pet's lost pet alert to shelters, vets, groomers and other pet professionals and Members in your area.

  • Notify your pet's lost pet registry right away. When someone finds your pet they are likely to take them to a vet or shelter right away so it is important that you are sure your pet's lost pet registry is in the know about your pet missing and has the most current way to contact you. As a petkey member you can notify us 24 hrs a day via phone or online via your petkey account.

  • Walk your Immediate Neighborhood. Typically dogs and cats don't wander far right away so it is very likely that someone in your neighborhood has either seen your pet or has taken them in to keep them safe. Some dogs will wander further then other but typically they don't get further than 2 miles of where they were last seen so use that as a guide when determining how far you should patrol.

  • Visit your local Animal Shelters. Animal shelters are very busy taking care of pets and taking in strays throughout the day so it is best to visit them in person rather then call them on the phone. If at all possible visit your local shelters daily to see if someone has dropped of your pet during the day and they just haven't had time to look for an owner yet.

  • Leave something familiar to your pet outside your home. Our pet's sense of smell is much better than our own. Leaving out a shirt or blanket with a familiar scent on it is likely to help them find their way home.

Some Things You May Not Know About Microchips

  • 1.) Microchipping your pet is a simple procedure that can be quickly performed by your veterinarian and is no more painful than a vaccination.

  • 2.) Pet Microchips are a permanent form of identification and will not need to be replaced.

  • 3.) Microchips are similar in size to a single grain of rice. They are contained in a special type of bio compatible glass so that the tissues in your pet's body will accept it.

  • 4.) Microchips do not contain an internal power source. A pet microchip uses radio waves (RFID, radio frequency identification technology) to transmit the unique number stored on the chip to a scanning device that can then display the number. The external scanning device provides the power necessary to read the number stores on your pet's microchip. Since your pet's microchip simply stores this number there is no need for it to constantly transmit any information and thus no need for a power source making it completely safe for your pet.

  • 5.) Microchips do not work like GPS Tracking devices. Since GPS units require a power source it is not currently possible to use GPS technology inside of a pet microchip. This is why it is so important to register your pet's microchip and keep your contact information updated.

  • 6.) The microchip is inserted just into the skin usually right between your pets shoulder blades.

  • 7.) When a pet microchip is scanned it does not display owner contact information. Your contact information is stored securely in our database. When your pet's microchip is scanned the scanning device will only display your pet's unique microchip identifier. The scanning station will then contact the registry who can then contact you to let you know where your pet is.

  • 8.) Not all microchip scanners can read all microchips. Most vets and shelters do have Universal Microchip Scanners that are able to detect all frequencies of pet microchips but be sure to ask your vet if they are using a Universal Microchip Scanner at their facility.

What Happens When Your Pet's Microchip is Scanned?

When the microchip scanner passes over your pet it scans for a microchip and when the microchip is detected it display's your pet's unique identifier on the screen. Pet microchips of all brands can be registered with any reputable microchip registry database. All registries are independently run so there is no truly Universal Pet Registry. To help resolve this issue vets and shelters will enter your pet's microchip into the Universal Microchip Look Up Tool powered by AHAA. This great resource will indicate to the individual if your pet is registered and what phone number to contact to retrieve your contact information. Once the registry is contacted they will contact you right away to connect you with the individual who currently has your pet.

How Do I Know if My Pet's Microchip is Properly Registered?

There are multiple brands of microchips but they must all be registered to be effective. It is your choice where to register your pet's microchip. You can even register your pet's microchip with multiple registries. To determine if your pet is properly registered enter your pet's microchip number into the Microchip Look Up Tool. If it comes back that no registry was found then your pet is not registered with a participating microchip database.

petkey ™ is a Participating Pet Recovery Service Registry for the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool. AAHA provides an internet-based application that enables veterinarians, humane organizations, pet owners or other persons to search various Pet Recovery Service Registries and identify those registries on which a particular microchip is registered. AAHA is not affiliated or involved with any specific microchip registry and has no relationship, financial or otherwise, with this Participating Pet Recovery Service Registry ("helpmefindMYPET", a petkey ™ partner). This Registry has given AAHA permission to search the Registry's database in order to assist pet owners in being reunited with their pets. AAHA does not maintain a database of microchips of its own. It only links to registries such as this one. The AAHA Universal Microchip Lookup Tool only searches the databases of companies that elect to participate in the program.

I want to get my pet microchipped.
Where should I go and what should I ask for?

In North America Vet and Pet Welfare associations like the AVMA (American Veterinarian Medical Association), AHAA (American Animal Hospital Association), ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), and the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Medical Association) endorse the use of ISO Standard Microchips and recommend pet microchips that are ISO compliant. An ISO microchip is a 15-digit numeric identifier and uses a 134.2-kHz frequency. ISO microchips are accepted by Canada, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and have been endorsed for use in the United States. If you intend to travel to any of these countries with your pet it is essential that you have your pet implanted with an ISO compliant Microchip. Most veterinarians offer microchipping. It is a simple and quick procedure that can be performed during a regular office visit. Often vets or local animal shelters will offer Low Cost Microchipping Clinics. When you get your pet microchipped they may offer to register your pet's microchip for you or they leave it up to you but either way it is very important you follow up to ensure your pet is properly registered and the information is accurate. Even if you think your vet registered your microchip for you, it is essential that you double check. A microchip must be registered in order to be effective.

My pet has a microchip. Now What?

A pet microchip is just one component of the recovery process. In order to reunite you with your pet, the microchip must be scanned by a microchip scanner and the number obtained from that scan must be registered with a microchip registry. Now that your vet has implanted the microchip in your pet it is up to you to make sure it is properly registered. If you think your vet registered your pet's microchip for you double check to make sure the registration is complete and accurate. There are multiple microchip registries in North America. Because of this it can be difficult to decide which registry to use. If you reside primarily in North America you should register your pet with a registry that participates with the Microchip Look Up Tool to ensure the microchip scanning station can determine which registry to contact right away. You should also choose a registry that offers lifetime registration to ensure that your pet's registration is always accessible and up to date. petkey is a participating pet recovery service registry for the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool and is a secure choice for registering your pet's microchip for life. You will have complete access to your pet's registration online and there will never be any additional fees to update or transfer information on your pet's microchip. petkey also offers 24 hr support both online and over the phone with live lost pet recovery representatives. In addition to recovery support when a pet with petkey registration is missing an alert will be issued to shelters, vets, pet professionals and members within the area where your pet was last seen. Also your pet will be listed on the nationwide online lost and found pet classifieds. Other petkey services include durable ID tags, identification cards and behavior and training support for your pet. Certified behaviorists are available toll free by phone to assist you with any training or behavior issues you may be experiencing with your pet. Additionally when you login to your petkey account you will have access to the training video library where you can view at your leisure hours of training videos ranging from new puppy to adult pet training techniques. Click here to register your pet.
Once your pet is registered it is very important that you keep your contact information updated and list at least one back up contact in case you cannot be reached in an emergency. Remember that the scanner does not display your contact information and petkey will contact you directly in the event your pet is recovered so you are safe to list your important contact numbers.