Found dog or cat – what to do

This information is from Erin Childers, a volunteer with Lost Dogs of Texas,

Found dog (or cat) tips

File a report with the local shelters – in this case Austin 311 can be done online. In the drop-down menu, select “FOUND ANIMAL REPORT – KEEP” (which means you are holding the dog temporarily at your house). Also if you do not capture the dog, file a Loose Dog Report with 311 so there will be tracking info available if the local group decides to help capture it in the future.

Get the dog scanned for a micro chip in more than one facility (call ahead if possible to ask if they will give you the chip number – so many chips are not up to date or unregistered and we have resources to help track those but need the number, and some vet offices will not give it out – do not go to Petsmart if at all possible they do not give the info out). Chips are often missed in a scan and can migrate to tips of ears and feet! Also if you do go to Petsmart and a chip is found, they will call and leave THEIR info as a call back – not yours – so you will be stuck waiting for the vet in Petsmart to open on Monday morning for a possible reunion….

We do have a local Austin Lost & Found Pets volunteer with a chip scanner who is available to come to your house – please email Erin Childers,, if you want his info. One step farther – has the lookup link plus a form to fill out if the chip info is not up to date or was never registered – we have volunteers who help research these, associated with Lost Dogs of Texas

Lost Dogs of Texas (Erin Childress is a volunteer with them) – Check these sites for a lost flyer and submit a found report to get a flyer posted on the page.

If you can’t get to the flyer link there, go directly to, create an account login, report the dog as “found” and that will generate a flyer request with Lost Dogs of Texas. Contact Erin to see when your flyer has been edited and is ready for printing, she will let you know when it is on the FB page and ready to share from there.

Check for Lost Dogs on Austin Lost & Found Pets FaceBook Page – and make a post for your Found Dog there as well (slightly different format read the guidelines in their “pinned post” before posting).

Post on under “Lost & Found” – include your neighborhood and at least all surrounding ones – dogs and cats do not understand boundaries and can travel miles in a single day.

Put ads on Craigslist in Lost & Found section and in Pets section. Always require proof of ownership.

Log back into and print and post paper flyers near the main entrances and exits for your neighborhood and depending on the size of the dog, the surrounding neighborhoods. Do not tape a flyer to a neighborhood mailbox – it is Federal property and against the law to do so. Instead, attach a flyer to a nearby post or fence – everyone eventually checks their mail and will see it. Be sure to post flyers near the mailbox area at apartment complexes (as well as on a pole near the entrance to apartment complexes).

Longer term – if none of above has yielded results….

Get on Google maps and type in “veterinarians near (the address where the dog was found)” Get a tablet and write down all the names and phone number of all the vets/ clinics within several miles. Call each one and ask for an email address where you can send a flyer or a photo and your contact information. Do the same thing with groomers.

Proof of Ownership –
Meet the owner at their vet office. A vet will NOT risk his/her license to falsely verify ownership of a dog. OR Require the owner to show up with vet records and pictures of themselves with the dog or their family – be cautious about Photoshopped (modified) pics – you should know what the poses you published are and be careful about watching for that. The real owner of the dog will be HAPPY you are requesting the above to be sure you get the dog to the right owner. Only scammers will be upset that you are requiring proof of ownership.