lost dogs, lost pets, finding lost pets, finding pets in the city

The odds of finding a lost dog in a city as dense as New York City may seem overwhelming. After all, the area is massive, and there are so many places your pet could be. 

But before you panic, you need to understand that there are numerous resources to help you find your dog in Brooklyn. The following steps give you the best chances of having a happy reunion with your pet.

  1. Use Social Media

    On Facebook, do a quick search for Brooklyn Lost and Found Dogs. Filter the results to pages, and you will find several Facebook groups dedicated to lost and found pets. Join those and post the clearest picture of your pet that you have. Some people have mixed feelings about putting their phone numbers on social media, but it is something you might want to consider for this post. If you do not feel comfortable putting up your phone number, then check your messenger settings so that you can receive private messages from non-friends. On all other forms of social media that you use, put up the same information. 

  2. Microchip

    If your pet has a microchip, contact the company that holds your contact information. Make sure that the information that they have for contacting you is up to date. 

  3. Shadow

    In the app store, search for Shadow lost pet finder, and it will bring you to the Shadow app. The app is free, and you will be connected with a community of several thousand volunteers who help reunite dogs and their owners in New York, New Jersey, and LA. The app will help you create an immediate alert that will go out to all the users in your area. The app will also provide you with an action plan and will help you create a flyer. While you continue your search, volunteers will start combing through photos of found pets helping to make a match if your dog has been posted anywhere as a found pet. 

  4. Have the flyers printed

    Have the flyers printed and start distributing them throughout your neighborhood. Plastic folder covers and duct tape are the best way to protect the flyers and put them on poles, signs, and bulletin boards everywhere. Posting flyers is a great way to get friends and family involved in helping you find your pet, so make those phone calls and get as much help as possible. 

  5. Visit every shelter in the area

    Calling a shelter is not good enough, as too often they are understaffed and overworked. Visit the shelter in person and search for your dog. Leave a copy of the flyer if your pet is not there.  Do not forget about the ASPCA and local rescue groups. Check with every group you can find and continue to widen your search area. Lost and frightened pets can travel farther than you would think. It is also possible that someone rescued your pet, but took them to a shelter or rescue closer to their home than yours.

  6. Visit every veterinarian and groomer in the area

    Ask if they have seen your pet and if not, ask if they would display a copy of your flyer. 

  7. Continue to search the area where your pet went missing

    If a dog was startled or afraid, he or she might not have gone far. Instead, it is possible they hid nearby, so remember that in your search. Look under hedges, porches, behind dumpsters, and anywhere else that might feel like a safe hiding place for your dog.

Once you have done the first six steps, your job is now to remain hopeful that your pet will be found. Continue to search on foot calmly calling for your pet. Revisit shelters every couple of days, and do the same for veterinarian’s offices and groomers.

Take flyers with you whenever you go out to search. Stop other people who are walking their dogs and ask if they may have encountered your pet. Closely monitor your social media and bump your post when necessary. 

Stay involved with the community of volunteers on the Shadow app. They are a great resource, and many people have been through the trauma of having a missing pet. They can offer you support as well as ideas for further resources to help bring your pet home safely.

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