Return to Sender: How to Find a Lost Pet

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pets plus lost pets

Gate left open?  Bolted after squirrel? Spooked by fireworks? Wandered off to see the neighbors’ barbecue?

There are many reasons that a pet can go missing. Keeping some sort of ID on your pet will go miles towards getting them back.

When finding a lost pet, the first place most people will look is the collar for a tag or embroidered information. At Pets Plus we have a tag engraving machine with many stylish tag and collar options to choose from in store. Don’t see one you like? We can also do special orders; just ask!

After a collar, the second most common pet identification method is microchipping, where a very small chip gets inserted by a vet via a hollow needle, usually at the base of the neck. Lost pets’ chips can be scanned at a veterinary clinic, or shelter, and the scanner will show the owner’s contact information. Be sure to register your pet with the chip registry so that your pet can be returned to you – this is the most important step to recovery with a microchipped pet! Many owners think that once the chip is in that the pet is covered, but the chip registry needs your contact information to get in touch with you should the pet get lost.

Tattoos are another way of identifying pets, and are sometimes applied at animal shelters. The safest place to tattoo a pet is on a surface such as an inner thigh. Keep hair in the area of the tattoo clipped short. It’s vital to register tattoos with a recognized national organization so the pet’s identity can be traced if he is lost. Tattoo-A-Pet maintains a worldwide pet recovery network, with participating agents and veterinarians who perform tattooing at a reasonable cost. This service also maintains a 24-hour hotline and claims a 99% recovery rate.  Contact Tattoo-A-Pet at 800-TATTOOS or The National Dog Registry also registers tattooed pets. They can be reached at 800-NDR-DOGS 24 hours a day, has been finding lost and stolen pets for three decades. You can also email

With identification on your pet, your chances of having them returned increase substantially. Utilize lost pet posters, Facebook, and other social media to alert people to your lost pet, along with calling shelters, pounds, veterinarians and delivering a lost pet flyer to them. Be sure to include a photo, description, and contact information.

Nicole Apostle is the marketing director at Pets Plus.