This website is FREE to use - be sure to post a listing for your lost or found pet! You can also make a listing for any lost animal sightings. Search through other listings to see if anyone has made a post for your lost or found pet. If you make a listing that includes a picture of the pet, a printable flyer is automatically generated. The site currently serves Jefferson, Oldham, Spencer, Shelby, and Bullit counties in KY and Clark, Floyd, and Harrison counties in IN. Check it out here: www.lostpetskentuckiana.org
Help us spread the word!! Click here to download a flyer (it is a PDF file) that you can distribute to your vet office or your favorite pet supply store, training center, etc. etc.! Ask if they will hang it on their bulletin board or in another location where many people will see. You can also send it out in an e-mail to your friends, family, and co-workers. ANYONE can lose or find a pet, so we need as many people to be aware of this resource as possible. Thank you for your "leg work", we really appreciate it!
Please note: when searching for a matching advertisement on ANY website, never make this assumption: "If no one has put an ad online/in the paper, no one has found/lost Fido." If both parties make this assumption, the animal will never be reunited! Please be proactive and do not simply search listings - make a listing, too!
Lost & Found Pets
Many pets in shelters are simply lost and were never reunited with their owners. These pets then have to go on to find new homes (even though many already have a family waiting for them) or have to find foster space in a rescue. Many, sadly, are among those that are killed for overcrowding at the shelter. What if most of them, instead, went back home? We want to arm you with information on how to prevent your pet from becoming lost, what to do if your pet is lost, and what to do if you find a pet. The more people that have this information, the more happy reunions we hope to see.
- Keep a collar with tags on your pet at all times. Even when you need to take it off for grooming, make sure it goes right back on! If someone sees your dog has a collar with tags on, they will know it has wandered away from home and will be able to read the tags and contact you.
- Microchip your pet. Shelters and veterinary clinics (and some pet stores) will all have microchip scanners. If someone finds your pet and brings it to either of these locations, it can be scanned for a microchip. Pets can slip out of their collars (thus losing tags as their form of ID) but microchips are permanent.
- Spay and neuter! Male cats and dogs can smell females in heat from quite far away. They are inclined to roam because of this. Many lost pets are intact (not spayed or neutered) and their disappearance can be summed up as "taking a stroll of the neighborhood to find a date". The instinct to roam will diminish dramatically after neutering because they will no longer be hormone-driven.
- Keep gates and doors closed (and, for further peace of mind, locked). Especially if you have small children, guests at the house, or are in any situation where people are coming in and out of your yard or home, be very diligent. It only takes one person to leave a gate or door open or to improperly latch or close it, for your dog to have the perfect opportunity to wander.
- Supervise your pets when outside, or at least keep checking on them. If your dog is loose, you want to know about it right away so that you can immediately follow to get them back.
- Don't trust invisible fences - be sure to supervise if you are using them. Dogs with high prey drive may still blast through the "invisible barrier", take the shock, and run off in pursuit of a rabbit, squirrel, other dog, etc. Another scenario where dogs will run through the invisible fence is when they are very scared, such as during a thunderstorm or fireworks show.
- Don't leave your pets outside during thunderstorms or fireworks shows. Many pets are frightened by the noise and will try to out run it. This is an especially bad scenario because pets in a panic will travel very far.
- When you are out walking your dog, make sure the collar is not so loose that the dog can pull out of it easily. If your dog is great at escaping from his or her collar, try a martingale style (also called limited slip or limited choke) collar instead.
- Work on your dog's recall ("come" cue) all the time and no matter where you go. If your dog gets out of the yard, but you are right there, you want your dog to come back to you quickly and not lead you on a wild chase through the neighborhood. Not only is that really not fun, it can also be dangerous if you are near busy roads. If you need help perfecting your dog's recall, check in with a local trainer.
- Know your breed! Hounds are notorious wanderers. They pick up a scent and they follow it. Huskies are also known as escape artists. Sighthounds (and any dog with a high prey drive) will chase anything that moves and be gone in a flash. While it is always a good idea to be cautious when having a dog off-leash in an unfenced area, these breeds in particular cannot be trusted. Know your breed and know your dog.
- For more prevention tips, click here!
If Your Pet is Lost...
Realizing that your pet is missing is a gut-wrenching feeling. Do not lose hope, because it is possible to recover your lost pet. However, you will need to do some leg work. Do not assume that your pet will simply find its way home.
- Of course, if you see your pet running off, follow him! If it is a dog, quickly grab a leash, too. Try to avoid chasing your dog, and when you do get your hands on him, make sure it is a happy reunion! If you try to scold him for running off, you run the risk of making your dog more likely to avoid you next time.
- Ask neighbors to keep an eye out for your missing pet.
- Make pet posters. For some really, really great tips on how to make lost pet posters, check out the Missing Pet Partnership's 5+5+55 rule as well as their intersection alerts tip page and how to turn your car into a lost pet advertisement.
- Alert local vets that your pet is missing. Most vets have a bulletin board for lost pet posters. Visit many and put your flyer up so that all their clients can see it, too.
- Put an ad in the major newspapers' lost pet sections. Consider creating an online ad as well.
- You MUST check local shelters! Walk through the local shelters, fill out a lost pet report, and put up one of your posters. In Louisville, there is a mandatory 5-day stray wait period for all found pets. Make sure you physically walk through the shelter every 2 or 3 days to be sure you find your pet within this 5 day time period. You will usually need a staff member to escort you to make sure you visit every single animal holding area in the shelter. Be proactive in your search. If your pet has been missing for awhile, it may be skinny or matted or sickly. Be careful that you do not accidentally overlook your pet!
- Do not underestimate how far your pet can go. Alert the shelters in nearby counties as well. Put your posters up far and wide (not just in your neighborhood) to increase the chances that the right people see them.
There are two shelters in Louisville that house lost pets, be sure to visit both:
Metro Animal Services, 3705 Manslick Rd AND Kentucky Humane Society, 241 Steedly Drive
Make sure you visit the following links to look for your lost pet!!
2. Metro Animal Service's list of lost pets can be viewed at Petharbor.com (type in Louisville and follow on-screen instructions. Be careful to do a broad search -- the dog may be listed as a different mix or age than you are searching for). Although these online listings are very helpful, it is still strongly recommended that you visit these shelters in person.
If You Find a Pet...
When you find a pet, you will be doing much of the same things as if you had lost a pet, but now with the goal of finding the owner instead of the pet. Read the above "If Your Pet is Lost" section for basic tips.
Click here for in-depth "found pet" tips from the Missing Pet Partnership - they say it so well, we would simply be repeating! It is a MUST READ!
In Louisville, the two shelters that can accept lost pets are:
Metro Animal Services, 3705 Manslick Rd AND Kentucky Humane Society, 241 Steedly Dr
Should you require the assistance of animal control to pick up a wandering pet, the number to call is 502-363-6609
Click here for information on "xenophobic" dogs -- some dogs are shy by nature, but when lost and found are wrongly assumed to be abused.