Lost Pets and Stray Animals: What To Do

Stray animal.

Your beloved pets are family, too, and you would be devastated if they were lost. If your pets are microchipped, you are more likely to be reunited. But what should you do if you find a lost pet?

First Steps to Help Rescue a Lost Pet

When you see animals that appear to be lost, you want to help get them back home to their family. What are the first steps to take when you see a lost animal?

  1. Look for a collar with a current rabies tag. It’s always a good idea to wear heavy leather gloves when handling a stray.
  2. If they have an I.D. tag, secure the animal and call the owner.
  3. Provide water and food if the animal seems hungry.
  4. Depending on how long the pet has been on its own, it could have fleas and other parasites, so keep the animal away from household pets and family members.

Who to Contact if the Lost Animal Doesn’t Have I.D.

We tend to think of “the pound” as a last resort for reporting lost and stray animals. Your local animal control staff has access to all the resources needed to locate pet owners. When they pick up a lost animal, they scan immediately scan for a microchip. How does a microchip help to reunite a pet with its family?

  • Microchips are implanted just under the skin by your veterinarian at your pet’s first wellness visit.
  • Veterinary clinics, local animal control sites, and police departments have a scanning device to detect the presence of a microchip.
  • If a microchip is found, it will provide a number to match the owner with the pet in a secure database.
  • The owners will be notified that their lost pet has been located.

Are Your Pets Microchipped?

At East Sacramento Veterinary Center, we urge all of our dog and cat clients to be microchipped. It’s an easy procedure, no more painful than a shot.

  • The chip is placed just under the skin, between the animal’s shoulder blades.
  • Each chip is unique and contains identifying information about the pet and owner contact information that is revealed upon scanning.  
  • Once the chip is inserted, be sure to use the chip registration number your vet provides to enter information about you and your pet on the manufacturer’s online database.
  • If you move, remember to update your information with the chip database!

I.D. Tags Are Important Too

A properly fitting collar adorned with current I.D. and rabies tags make reuniting pets and worried families an easy task. Make sure your pets are microchipped and that their I.D. information is up to date.

More Questions About Lost Pets? Ask the Experts!

Give us a call with your questions at (916) 634-0822, and make sure your own pets are microchipped and tagged. Are your pets due for vaccinations or other wellness needs? Make an appointment soon. We are here for you to help keep your pets safe and well.