Lost and Found
What To Do If Your Pet Is Lost
If your pet is microchipped, wearing a rabies vaccination tag, or wearing an animal license tag, you have a very good chance of being reunited with your pet. Call your veterinarian and/or the microchip company right away to make sure the microchip’s contact information is up-to-date. If the HSBH microchipped your pet at the time of its adoption, then you should call us to make sure your information is updated.
Next, contact the animal welfare agency that handles strays for the area where you live and/or where your pet was lost. Residents of Pennington County should call HSBH Animal Services and Enforcement at (605) 394-4132 and follow their instructions.
For any lost pet, regardless of location, you should fill out the Lost/Found Report.
- Sturgis/Meade County Animal Shelter (605) 347-8310
- Lead/Twin City Animal Shelter (605) 584-2480
- Pennington County Animal Services and Enforcement (605) 394-4132
- After hours, please contact your local police department
When a stray is placed at the HSBH, the owner has three business days to reclaim the lost pet. If the three days have passed, the pet may be placed for adoption. It is very important for you to visit the HSBH shelter frequently to see if your pet has been found.
In addition to contacting the appropriate agency, we recommend taking the following steps if your pet is lost:
- Begin your search immediately
- Cover at least a 20-block area around your home – A dog or cat can wander miles in just a day
- Call your pet’s name loudly and often – In between calls, listen carefully for a faint bark or meow that may indicate your pet is trapped somewhere
- Contact all the animal shelters in your county and surrounding counties – A “finder” may take your pet to the local shelter, or he/she may go to one that is farther away
- Because your description may vary from that of the agency’s staff, and because most shelters keep an animal for at least three days after intake, be prepared to visit each agency at least once every day to view the animals there, including those in holding or isolation (sick or injured pets)
- Advertise in your local newspapers – Offer a reward to stimulate interest and run your ad for at least two weeks
- Read the “Lost and Found” columns in newspapers and online forums daily to see if someone has found your pet
- Talk to people, especially kids or adults with an established neighborhood route (i.e. mail carriers, meter readers, UPS drivers, etc.) and show them a photograph of your pet
- Make a “Wanted” poster – Use large block print and attach a recent photo or rough sketch of your pet, and include the following information: breed, age, color, distinguishing marks, collar color, when and where your pet was lost, your phone number, and reward if possible
- Leave a poster at each agency you have contacted
- Post lost animal details on Bring Rusty Home
- Hang your sign everywhere in the 20-block radius around your home (look for community bulletin boards, grocery stores, schools meeting halls, veterinary offices, etc.)
- Visit all veterinary hospitals and schools in your area, and leave a poster there as well
- Be imaginative in your search – In addition to yards, streets, parks, and woods, try searching in shopping centers, schools grounds, construction sites, abandoned buildings, and crawl spaces
- Leave an item of your personal clothing in your front and back yards Use your car in your search – Many dogs and some cats recognize the sound of the family car
- Visit your pet’s favorite places
- Try taking your dog’s best canine buddy along on your search – He/she might very well see, hear, or smell what you cannot
What To Do If You Have Found An Animal
If you have found a dog, cat, or other companion animal, you should do the following:
- SAFETY FIRST
Consider the safety of the animal. A strange, frightened, and possibly sick or injured animal can behave unpredictably. A sudden move on your part could spook her and cause her to bolt right into traffic.
- USE CAUTION
Use caution when approaching the animal. Should you succeed in getting close enough to capture him, you stand a good chance of being scratched or bitten. When moving toward the animal, speak calmly to reassure him. Make sure he can see you at all times as you approach, and entice him to come to you.
- LURE THE ANIMAL INTO YOUR CAR
Use caution driving with an unrestrained animal in your car. It is good to always carry a leash in your car just in case. If you cannot safely transport the animal or the animal is injured, call Animal Services and Enforcement or local law enforcement for assistance.
- TAKE TO LOCAL ANIMAL SHELTER
If you are able to transport the animal, take her to the nearest animal shelter. The animal can be scanned for a microchip, and then will be placed on the shelter’s website as a stray pet, giving the owner a chance to find their pet. If you bring the animal to the HSBH shelter, we will ask you to fill out a Lost-Found Report so we can work on reuniting the pet with the proper owner.
If you decide to keep the pet in your home until an owner is found, you still need to have the animal scanned for a microchip and fill out a found report at the animal shelter. Please remember that a frantic owner could be looking everywhere for their beloved pet! Put flyers out in the neighborhood where you found the animal, at veterinarian offices, and put an ad on online forums such as Facebook and Craig’s List. If the animal is not claimed after 30 days, you may choose to keep or re-home it.