If you need help, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-400-4001.
Recently, we’ve talked about how to find your lost dog, what to do if you’ve found someone else’s lost dog (or a stray), and lost pet prevention tips. But what do you do if you just want to help someone else find their lost pet?
Everyone can lend a hand to help find lost pets. Whatever you have time for — be it volunteering, helping online, physically joining a search, or helping to raise morale — will be astronomically helpful to the lost pet and their family!
The Importance of Volunteering
When it comes to finding lost pets, there’s almost nothing as important as the work of a Volunteer. That’s because the owner of the lost pet desperately needs your help. They’re probably distraught and exhausted, both physically and emotionally, and when they’re not working, they’re doing all they can to find their animal companions.
But since they’re only one person (or two, or a few, depending on the family), there’s only so much they can do. That’s where Volunteers come in. With the help of people like you, they can cover more ground and get more done, all while receiving vital moral support from the community. Just knowing that there are others out there invested in their search, helping as best they can, can keep them going even when all they want to do is give up.
It’s an important job, and we’re thankful that you want to do it.
Where Can I Help Right Now?
Let’s say you want to help lost pets but don’t have a particular pet in mind. Is there a place to look, online or otherwise, that lists such animals in need?
You can always contact your local shelter, which often has the names and details of missing pets that have been reported by their searching owners.
Looking to help pets generally? Facebook is probably your best bet. Depending on where you live, you may have a hometown page, a local lost and found pet page, or both. Scouring these pages will almost certainly uncover a lost pet or two in need nearby.
Lost Pet Apps
If you’re looking to help missing dogs specifically, consider downloading the Shadow app, which has listings for hundreds of missing dogs. If you’re a person who’s lost a dog, you can post a listing. If you’re a person who’s found a lost dog, you can post a listing. And if you’re someone who just wants to help (that’s you), you can utilize the app’s photo-matching technology to hopefully reunite a dog and their family.
Shadow’s particularly great for people who lead busy lives. All it takes is a few minutes of swiping through photos in the app to make a difference — and without ever leaving your house.
Spread the Word and Join the Search
The most important thing you can do to help find lost pets is spread the word about them. That means doing something as simple as sharing their story over social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) or as involved as printing and hanging flyers.
Most owners of lost pets will have already made flyers available for you to hang. If not, consider making some of your own. Just be sure to include all the relevant lost pet information, such as:
- A color picture of the lost pet
- The pet’s name
- When they went missing
- A phone number to reach their owner at
Hang these at the major intersections near where they went missing, as well as heavily trafficked areas and the bulletin boards of police & fire stations, veterinary clinics, pet supply stores, dog parks, grocery stores, laundromats, etc.
If you’re helping a dog using Shadow, you can share stories on social media directly from the app. Just click on a particular lost dog’s listing and you’ll be able to share their flyer (along with their picture and key details) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Additionally, as the app automatically generates a flyer, you won’t need to create your own — you can just print it straight from the app. When hanging flyers, make sure to coordinate with the owner of the lost dog through the app by marking portions of the map where you’ve posted the flyers. At the same time, check the map to avoid hanging flyers in areas that have already been covered.
Note: When you’re out searching for a lost pet or hanging flyers, always stay as safe as possible! Be wary of traffic and, if you do spot a lost pet, be careful not to scare them off. It’s one thing if the pet comes up to you on their own, friendly and looking for human assistance. However, if they don’t come up to you on their own, do not approach them. Just contact their owners and let them know where you saw them. Remember, endangering yourself or scaring off the pet helps nobody.
Help Raise Morale
Helping lost pets and their owners isn’t just about accomplishing tasks in an app or on the streets, as important as those might be. Sometimes, the best help you can give is just a word or two of support for the families who need it most. Sending messages of hope to a heartbroken owner and letting them know that you’re keeping an eye out for their pet can keep them going when they’re at their lowest.
On Behalf of Lost Pets and Their Families Everywhere: Thank You
Pets go missing every day. That’s a tragic fact, but fortunately it’s often not the end of the story. At Shadow, we’ve seen literally thousands of reunions. Some after minutes, some after hours, some after days, and some even after years. Most wouldn’t have been possible without people like you, volunteering their time and energy to help their fellow person (or animal).
That’s something to feel good about, to be celebrated. So thank you from those of us at Shadow. Thank you for everything you’ve done or will do in service of saving lost pets. If you need help along the way, don’t hesitate to email email@example.com or call 1-866-400-4001.