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Lost Pets

Losing a beloved pet is a terrible feeling. We strive to help make sure they return home.

To avoid the heartbreak of losing your pet and not having them return home, see the following list for tips to increase the likelihood of a happy reunion:

Make sure your dog has proper identification on a collar or harness:

  • Dog License Tag (required by NYS law and can be obtained through your Town Clerk). Cats in New York do not have to be licensed unless your city, village or town has a local law requiring it.
  • Name Tag (make sure to have a current home and/or cell phone number on it.)
  • Rabies Tag (issued to you by a veterinarian when your pet is rabies vaccinated.
  1. Have your pet Microchipped. It is a quick way to have a permanent identification for your pet. No bigger than a grain of rice, it is safely inserted under the skin above your pet’s shoulder blades by a veterinarian. If your pet is picked up by the Humane Society or brought to a veterinary hospital/clinic, your pet will be scanned with a special microchip reader which will detect the microchip’s number. With that special chip number they will be able to find out who the registered owner is...YOU! Contact your veterinarian to see if pet microchipping is available. If microchipping is not available, mention that you are very interested and they would be offering a great service if they had it available to their clients.
  2. Call your local Police or State Police. They receive calls from concerned motorists or pedestrians about dogs that are running loose in traffic or on sidewalks. They will be able to contact the local Dog Control/Animal Control Officer and make them aware that your dog is missing.
  3. Contact your local animal shelter immediately. Tri-Lakes Humane Society offers courtesy postings for missing pets. Provide a photo and complete description of your missing pet (age, if spayed/neutered, distinguishing characteristics), the location where your pet went missing, and what kind of collar and identification tags your pet may have had on at the time. You can call us at 518-891-0017, email information to, or send us a message on Facebook. Other shelters in our area can be found in: Elizabethtown, Peru, Malone, Massena, Potsdam and Watertown. 
  4. Contact area newspapers, and place an ad (most of them are free) that your pet is missing. If you look in the yellow pages, under “N” (for newspapers!) you will find a list of papers. Contact as many as possible – the more area that is covered, the greater chance of finding your pet.
  5. Contact your veterinarian's office. Most of them will allow fliers to be posted to advertise your missing pet.
  6. Post a missing pet ad online - Facebook is great for spreading the word fast that your pet is lost, and websites like offer free listings for people to post their lost or found pets.
  7. Call your local Radio station and ask if they can announce on-air that your pet is missing. Many stations will announce lost and found pets – so make sure to ask them if someone has contacted them already about finding a dog like yours.
  8. Create flyers that are brightly colored with a photo of your missing pet. Colored or black and white – as long as it is a clear photo of your pet. Post them everywhere. Most stores have bulletin boards where you can post fliers. You can also put fliers between neighbor’s doors or under windshield wipers of vehicles.
  9. Call your local Post Office, UPS or FedEx carriers to make them aware that your dog is missing, so he or she can keep an eye out while on their delivery route.
  10. Contact your local Cable Provider. Some local cable access stations offer the public a community bulletin board where they can place ads that run on the TV – usually for free!
  11. If you believe your dog is lost in the woods, contact your local Environmental Conservation office and notify them. The NYSDEC Officers and NYS Rangers may be able to assist you in finding your lost dog if you are able to give them enough information about where the dog was lost. If you lost your dog while out hiking, post a notice at the trailhead with your contact information, that way any future hikers will be made aware of what your dog looks like if they find it.

LOST Signs

We recommend that you make a poster with your pet's photo, description, location lost and your contact information. Posters should be put up in your neighborhood and around your town, and most businesses will allow posters to be put in their windows or on bulletin boards. 


Lost Pet Websites

There are many websites that offer pet owners ways to post their lost pets or even register them in case they ever go missing.