Need Help With a Found Dog?
Often, the owner of the dog can be found. Additionally, many pets in McLennan County are microchipped - leading to quick reunions that help to keep dogs out of the overfull shelter. Below are some easy steps to take when you have found a dog.
Did you know - the vast majority of found dogs are within 1 mile of their home. So, knocking on doors in the immediate area can be your best chance at a reunion!
Tip: Even if the dog seems in less than ideal condition when found, it may have been missing for an extended period of time and have a home who cares about it very much. Avoid making assumptions.
1. Check for Tag/ID
If the dog seems friendly, gently check them for a collar and ID tags. Try to contact the number listed on the tag. If the pet is only wearing a rabies vaccination tag, you can call, message, or email the veterinary clinic listed on the rabies tag, give them the tag number, and they will be able to locate the owner’s information.
2. Have the Pet Scanned for a Microchip
If the pet can be safely transported, please take them to the nearest vet clinic to have them scanned for a microchip. After hours or on weekends, Emergency Clinics are open to scan pets. This takes only a few minutes, is FREE, and could directly tell you who the owner is. Central Texas Lost & Found Pets and Heart of Texas Lost Found Pets also have volunteer microchip scanners throughout McLennan County who can meet you to scan the pet for a microchip.
3. Share Photos of The Pet Online
Please post a photo of the animal and description where found at the following locations to try to find the owner:
Waco.Craigslist.org (under the ‘lost and found’ section & under the ‘Pets’ section).
Also, check out the lost pets listed at all of these places to see if anyone has reported a lost dog who matches the one you have found.
4. Ask the Neighbors
Remember, there are many people who are not active on social media/online. If you are safely able, please knock on doors in the area where the pet was found to see if their home can be located. You might also consider walking the dog in the area where found in case anyone recognizes them. You can post photos of the dog at almost all local vet clinics and at groomers and you SHOULD post photos of the dog with your contact information in the area where the dog was found. Flyers of the dog in the area where found continues to be an important avenue for reuniting pets with their owners.
5. Place Found Pet Flyers in the Area Where Found
Flyers in the area where a pet is found continues to be one of the primary avenues for getting pets back home safe. You can also post a photo of the pet at almost all local vet clinics and at groomers.
It is suggested you make large, neon posters and hang them within at least a 2-mile radius of where the pet was found. Keep information on posters basic and clear including: a) photo of pet/description, and b) clear contact information (phone number, email) should someone recognize the pet.
6. Place a Found Pet Ad in The Paper
A three-line found pet ad is FREE for one week in the Waco Tribute Herald Classified Section. Phone: (254) 757-5757
Remember: Please try to safely secure the pet until the owner is found or try to find someone in the city where the pet was found who is able to hold the pet. Please do not relocate found pets out of the cities/counties where they were found as it makes it more difficult for their families to find them. Our local shelter remains at 99% or greater capacity for dogs. For every dog that enters the shelter, another dog who currently lives at the shelter is placed at risk.