Unfortunately every year, many of our beloved pets go missing, especially on major holidays like July 4th and Labor Day. While we hope this never happens to us, there are some simple steps that we as pet owners can take to increase our chances of finding our pets should they happen to go missing.
The City of Long Beach requires that all cats and dogs over the age of four months be licensed. They require this for a number of reasons, but of the most importance to pet owners is that having your pet licensed increases your chances of having your pet returned to you if he or she is picked up by ACS. More information can be found here.
Once licensed, your pet can either wear the tag provided by ACS, or you have the option of microchipping your pet, or both. If you choose to microchip your pet, please remember to register your contact information with the microchip company. ACS uses a universal scanner for checking lost animals for microchips, so you should have your choice of company, but for best results, use the company that ACS contracts with for their monthly license clinics. Also, if you change your phone number or address, you must update your contact information with the microchip company and with ACS, otherwise even if your pet is successfully found and scanned, they could still fail to reach you.
There are a number of mobile apps now available that facilitate the recovery of a lost pet if some simple steps are taken. The two most popular are facial recognition apps which work on the basis of registering your pet’s face with a service, such as Finding Rover or Pip, and using that facial recognition technology to identify your pet if he or she is found, and GPS tracking apps such as Tagg, which work on the basis of attaching GPS trackers to collars to alert you if your pet leaves a designated zone and tracking him or her once lost.
Canvass the neighborhood. Do this as soon as you realize your pet has gone missing. Have your friends join in the search and shake a bag of treats to entice shy and scared pets out of potential hiding places. If you are unable to find your pet, leave food and water out in your yard in case your pet comes home on his or her own. Please remember to bring in the food at night though, as it can attract wildlife that can be dangerous to pets.
Digital Fliers. Email lost pet information such as breed, color, sex, an image, and the location he or she was last seen along with your name, telephone number, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post all lost pets on the CHNA facebook page and send out a digital flyer of your lost pet to our email list.
Contact Long Beach Animal Care Services. Call ACS to let them know about your pet, (562) 570-7387. You will have to visit their kennels in order to search for your lost pet. They are located at 7700 E. Spring St. Long Beach, CA 90808. They also have a website where you can look through the dogs and cats currently being held in their facility. If you see your lost pet, you will need to come in person to make a definite identification.
Fliers. Please know that it is illegal in the City of Long Beach to post signs on lampposts, trees, or other public property. You may post your fliers on any private property where you have permission from the owner, and good places to distribute them are veterinary offices and local businesses, but again, only if you have obtained permission from the owner. Canvass the neighborhood with your fliers handing them out to neighbors who will accept them.
Use the power of your smart phone and the internet. ASPCA has a free mobile app that will guide you step by step on how to search for a lost pet in a variety of circumstances. It will also help you build your own digital flyer which you can share on your personal social media channels. In addition to this, there are several searchable online databases of pets in need of a home, such as Petfinder.com. If your pet has turned up in a shelter, he or she could end up in one of these databases.