Who Should Help You Find Your Lost Pet?

Your treasured pet “Toto” has gone missing.  The clock is ticking.  You feel panic, despair, and fear for your pet’s safety.

You should have a pet recovery plan for this very purpose and now is the time to implement it, including pulling together a team of people to help you.  Who should be on your “Toto’s” lost pets recovery team?Lost Pet Neighborhood alert service

The Microchip Registry

First, contact the microchip service with which your pet is registered.  That organization may also offer an alert system that can broadcast the pertinent details of your pet, description, age, microchip, and your chosen contact information.

Local Support

Your local ‘Toto’ recovery team should include:

  • Local family and friends.
  • Toto’s veterinarian as well as all nearby veterinarian offices, and pet emergency hospitals.
  • All area shelters.
  • Local pet supply stores (many will allow ‘Lost Pet’ fliers to be posted).

Consider Toto’s characteristics and behaviors before you ask friends and family to help with a local area search:

  • Is “Toto” a cat or a dog?
  • Is “Toto”  an outgoing, skittish, or shy animal?
  • Does “Toto”  like/tolerate children, prefers men, prefers women?

The reasons for thinking through these characteristics are that “Toto” will respond in unique ways based on his species as well as his temperament.  It will do little good to ask Uncle Frank to help if you know that “Toto”  doesn’t like Uncle Frank.

Another important point about species is that it helps to have members of your search party who are able to “think cat” or “think dog”.  If Aunt Flo is afraid of dogs but wants to help, consider asking her to make some phone calls or fliers, etc.

Expand the Search Radius

The radius of your search logically will focus on the immediate neighborhood, but think wider.  It is important to make door-to-door contact with your immediate neighbors but consider posting fliers within a 1 – 2 mile radius.  Include notification of local businesses within that radius.

Reach Out to Social Media

Notify your social media connections.  Your social media friends aren’t there just to share the latest restaurant or movie recommendations.  Many of your network connections are willing to help you find “Toto”, so include them as part of your search team.

Alert Services

There are a number of pet “amber alert” services, like, that can broadcast missing pet alerts to a wide radius of neighbors and businesses in your area. In addition to the broadcasts, Toto’s information can be posted on their website.  Do your research, FindToto actually holds a patent for the technology behind the service and other companies are infringing on this patent.   There is only one true lost pet recovery service who cares about finding your pet and getting them returned as quick as possible.


The network of people who should help you find your pet is actually much larger than you may have believed.  It stretches from your personal contacts, across the social media, and into national registries – all populated with caring individuals who want to see that “Toto” gets safely home to you, soon.

Pet Detectives

Some people turn to pet detectives for help when a pet is missing.  Be aware that few such services are conducted on a no-fee basis.  Fees can range from several hundred to thousands of dollars and range from skilled, experienced trackers to scam artists. If you decide to contact a pet detective, keep these things in mind:

  • Be cautious of the detective who claims a 90% or higher success rate.
  • Claims that his/her tracking dogs can pick up a scent trail older than one month.
  • Makes disparaging comments about other services.
  • Cannot / will not provide references.
  • Promises too much.

Do an online search for reviews, contact all references provided, and check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints.  Finally, if your gut tells you something seems “not quite right” about the alert service or detective, the services, the fees, or the promises – move on.

About Find Toto