I have been a full time pet detective for over 10 years since 2009 covering all of California. This blog covers all aspects of preventing a pet from becoming lost and what to do if your pet becomes lost.
Feel free to call or text me at 510/415-6185 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!
Chessie as a Puppy in Oakland, 1985
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
My Pet Has Been Stolen. Can You Still Do a Search?
My Pet Has Been Stolen.
Can You Still Do a Search?
If your pet has been stolen, the first thing you need to do is to contact your police department and file a report. Animals are considered property, and your local department needs to take a report for stolen property.
If your pet has been picked up and carried or walked away, or if your pet has been put into a vehicle with the windows down, we can still follow that track, as long as we have a viable scent article and the animal’s last known location.
In order to do the search to find your missing pet, I would like to know that your local police department is aware of the search being done, to clear it with them and get their approval. The reason for this is because any evidence or information we discover about your missing pet will be turned over to them for their investigation.
In addition, the police department needs to know when the search is occurring in case we need their immediate assistance while on the search. When I worked as an animal control officer, we frequently called upon the assistance of the local police department, and they would call upon our assistance when they had a case they were working on that involved animals.
What to do immediately
1. Start with a good, clear flyer:
Make the flyer in a common software like either MS Word or as a PDF document so that it is easily downloaded and sent anywhere by anybody
a. Use clear color photos
b. 24 hour phone number with voicemail
c. Basic description of your pet
2. Where to put and send flyer:
a. All light poles
c. Door to door
d. Dumpster areas
e. Mail carriers, UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and all delivery people
f. Garbage truck drivers
g. Utility meter readers
h. Local pet stores, grocery stores, gas stations
i. All vets: emergency and regular
j. Schools and churches
k. Police departments
3. Send flyer to Class B dealers and pet shops:
4. File a report with your local police department.
a. Follow up with them regularly.
a. File your own ads in both Pets and Lost/Found sections with a clear, color photo.
b. Check ads in local, state and national Craiglists. Do a search on top for breed type in the Pets section.
6. Do Internet searches on these subjects for potential breeders who may want to purchase your pet from the person who stole them.
a. Puppies/kittens, dogs/cats, breeders, pets
b. Specific breeds or mixes (designer dogs)
7. Look at HSUS, ASPCA and Last Chance for Animals:
Look at stories they do for puppy mill, hoarder and rescue busts. Contact them about your missing pet to see if your pet is among any animals in the animals they find in their puppy mill busts.
8. Review “Finding Lost Pets Checklist”
Articles to Read
American Psychological Society Article:
HSUS Article on Class B Dealers:
HSUS Article on The Use of Pets in Experiments:
HSUS’s History of Pets in Experiments
HSUS Article on the Use of Dogs and Cats in Experiments:
To prohibit the sale of "random source" (as opposed to purpose-bred) dogs and cats by Class B dealers for research purposes. Class B dealers sometimes obtain these animals through pet theft and free-to-good-home ads.
HSUS Article on the Use of Animals in Research
Wayne Pacelle Blog About buying animals from Class B dealers
USDA’s Dealer Requirement Guide
USDA’s Dealer Inspection Requirements
All stolen pets
Last Chance For Animals
Keeping your pet safe
Pet theft and Class B Dealers)
Pound seizure – Animals sold to labs from shelters
“Stolen for Profit” by Judith Reitman