I lost a pet

As many as 30% of people with pets will lose them at some point in time. With that in mind, we offer these tips for finding your lost dog or cat:

  • Search smart and search right away - don't wait! Learn what works - different kinds of lost pets need different search strategies (shy animals, indoor only vs indoor/outdoor cats, etc). 
  • Get help. 
  • Begin your search immediately. A motivated animal can travel a significant distance in a short amount of time, putting him at risk for injury or death.
  • Begin your search close to home (or the location he was lost). While some animals will travel when lost or frightened, many—especially shy, nervous, or indoor-only animals—will hole up within a 3-house radius of the place they went missing.
  • Do not give up. Searching for a lost pet successfully can be time-consuming and demoralizing. Enlist the help of your friends and neighbors in making signs, thoroughly searching nooks and crannies, and canvassing the neighborhood.
  • Contact all animal care agencies in your area. This includes animal shelters, animal control officers (including those of neighboring towns), highway departments (if they are responsible for removing dead animals from the roadway), and veterinary hospitals (including emergency hospitals). Be sure each of these agencies has a well-designed flyer with a clear photograph of the animal.  Here is information to contact animal control officers in Massachusetts:
    • For Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke: Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center, (413) 781-1484
    • For other Massachusetts cities and towns, find your ACO here

Reporting a Lost Pet to Dakin

To report to Dakin that you have lost an animal, please contact our Springfield Adoption & Education Center at springfield@dakinhumane.org

Pet Loss Prevention Tips

Prevention is the key to recovering your pet more quickly or to keeping your pet safely at home in the first place. Follow these tips for protecting your dog or cat:

  • Make sure your cat or dog is wearing current identification at all times. The best form of identification is a collar with a personalized i.d. tag. Rabies tags and dog licenses also serve as identification, but rely on town offices or veterinary hospitals to be open and accessible (and the tags must be kept current).
  • Provide your cat or dog with permanent microchip identification. Microchips are rice-sized radio transmitters that are read by special scanners in animal shelters or veterinary hospitals. Injected just beneath the skin between the animal’s shoulder blades, a microchip provides a permanent way for an animal to be reunited with his caretaker should he lose his collar and i.d. tag. All Dakin alumni receive a microchip prior to adoption. Keep your microchip information updated in the national database each time you move.
  • Obey leash laws in your town. Don’t allow your dog off leash in approved off-leash areas unless you are certain he understands and will obey your command to “come” when called. The simple distraction of another dog, a moving car, or a scurrying squirrel can send your dog quickly out of reach.
  • Keep cats indoors when possible. Cats who live exclusively indoors tend to lead healthier, longer lives than cats who live outdoors even part of the time.  However, for some cats, outdoor access is essential.  If your cat insists upon venturing outdoors, be sure that he is not out before dawn and is in before dusk. The twilight and evening hours are when most predators pose a threat to cats. Train your cat to come in at night by feeding him indoors in the early evening.
  • Prepare for the worst. Even indoor cats can go missing. All it takes is a worker or a child to leave a door ajar, a screen to come loose, or a catastrophic event to befall your home and your pampered indoor pet may find herself outdoors in foreign and hostile territory. Even indoor cats need to wear identification.
  • Holidays and special events. Fireworks on Independence Day, thunderstorms, Halloween costumes—all these can lead nervous dogs to take drastic measures to leave home. Know your dog and prepare to secure and protect him during particularly stressful events.

Finding Rover

Finding Rover uses facial recognition technology to help reunite lost dogs and cats with their families, allowing anyone with computer access to become a superhero.
If you FIND a stray dog or cat, all you need to do is click ‘I Found a Pet’, snap a picture on your phone, and upload it to the Finding Rover website. From there, the magic of Finding Rover will match that photo with photos of pets that have been reported missing.
For those that have LOST a dog or cat, click ‘I Lost a Pet’, upload your pet’s picture, and Finding Rover will search found reports. For more information and to get started, click the button below!