Q&A with the Animal Shelter : Oh no! My dog is missing… what should I do?

Q&A with the Animal Shelter : Oh no! My dog is missing… what should I do?

Each month, you will have the chance to have your questions answered by the animal shelter.


Question: In our February Ask the Animal Shelter column we discussed what to do if you find a lost pet. But what should you do if it’s your animal that is missing? 

It can be scary to realize your dog has found their way out of the yard or to have a kitty bolt through an open door. We recommend you do the following when looking for a missing pet:

  • Check with Animal Services or your local shelter to see if your pet has been brought to their facility and file a lost report with them. In Washington County, you can visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com to see stray animals currently at our shelter, file a lost report online, and find more resources for searching for your pet.
  • Check social media and other online resources for reports of found pets in your area and share that you are looking for your lost animal. Sites you may want to consider include Nextdoor, Pawboost, Craigslist’s lost and found section, and Facebook groups specifically focused on lost/found pets in your area.
  • Alert neighbors that your pet is missing – maybe they have seen them! Post signs in your area, distribute fliers, check with local vet clinics, and ask neighbors if you can look for your pet on their property or ask them to check spots animals may hide, such as a garage or shed.
  • If your pet has a microchip, double check that the chip is registered and the contact information associated with it is up to date.

Don’t give up hope if you can’t find your lost pet immediately. Scared animals often hide, and it may take some time to find them.

For more information on these topics and more, please visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com. The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located in downtown Hillsboro at 1901 SE 24th Ave. Email your questions to: Stacy_Beckley@co.washington.or.us