Lost A Pet


ep 107 finding lost cats

 If you have lost your pet, please follow the steps below and refer to the     Lost Pet Resource Packet to aid in your reunification efforts.  

  Cats exhibit very different lost behaviors compared to dogs. Lost dogs run and roam; cats hunker down. Lost dogs are typically visible immediately, whereas cats, depending on their psychology, take time to venture out and be noticed. There is a lot of incorrect advice on the internet about locating missing cats, like the old myth about putting dirty cat litter outside. View this   webinar and   podcast on lost cat behavior and tips for finding your missing cat.  



  Here are a few big-picture basics from the search guides:

  •  Offer a specific reward amount. “Reward for confirmed photo” gets proof of sighting so you’re not wasting time on the wrong cat. The photo should be the largest element on the flyer, ideally a side view in silhouette to remove all distracting background.  
  •   Include a request for neighbors to check around their homes/garages. Cats may have entered an open garage/shed and not been able to escape.  
  •   Use large, bright posters: one in your yard and one at each intersection within a 500-foot radius of your home or the point last seen.  
  •   Place a flyer on every car and each door in the neighborhood.  
  •   Ask neighbors who may have outdoor cameras to review the footage to help look for your cat. 
  •   Do not put out kitty litter that will draw unwanted wildlife and bully cats. Instead, open a few windows to use the scent of home as a beacon.  
  •   Physically search for your cat, but do not call your cat unless you are within 100 feet of home or you see them. Search in the daytime, lure at night.  
  •   Use a flashlight as you look, the cat’s eyes will reflect the light even if you can’t see the shape of the cat itself.  
  •   Leave food and water outdoors to attract your cat to stay nearby. Wildlife may be attracted as well, so do not leave large quantities of food.  
  •   Contact your local humane society or community cat organization to rent/borrow a cat trap. Your cat may be too shy to come out to you but may enter the trap for food.  
  •   Do not leave the trap open overnight or when you cannot check on it every hour. Trapped wildlife may harm themselves trying to escape.  
  •   Call your vet and microchip company. Report your cat lost and confirm your contact info.  
  •   Put a Lost Cat sign in your front yard and the first five intersections near your house.  
  •   Make mini versions of your flyer, 4 to a page. Distribute to landscapers who often flush a cat out of hiding, local pet stores, vets, postal carriers, and FedEx/ UPS drivers.  
  •   Get permission from the nearest school to place a poster at the entrance of the student drop-off area.   

For detailed help, the Lost Cat Finder offers in-person searches and coaching, all rooted in science-based strategies gleaned from research and years of cat recovery experience.



  1. Check your neighborhood and knock on doors
    Most missing pets are found by their owners or Good Samaritans in their own neighborhoods. Walk the neighborhood, knock on doors, and ask people who you encounter if they may have seen your pet. Cell phone photos of your pet will help.
  2. Check City website
    Search listings below for found animals in the Animal Services Center or the City’s pet foster care program
  3. File a Lost Pet ReportUnderstanding Lost Cat Behavior webinar screen shot
    Call 585-428-7274 to file a report over the phone or submit an online report now. 
  4. Visit the shelter
    Come down to the Animal Services Center at 184 Verona Street during regular business hours to see if your pet may be there, review Found Pet Reports, and to submit or update a Lost Pet Report. Bring photos and vaccination records. If you find your pet at the shelter, there may be fees to reclaim the animal. The fees are necessary to cover the costs associated with intake and care for animals during their time at our facility. The sooner that you get here, the lower the fees. You will also need to pay for a license (dogs only), and rabies vaccination, if not current.  Sterilization (i.e., spay or neuter), is optional but encouraged. If you do not find your pet at the Animal Services Center, ensure that you have submitted a Lost Pet Report including a photograph and continue checking back at the facility every couple days. 
  5. Gather photos 
    Gather several photos of your pet that best illustrate what it looked like when it went missing. Use the photos on Lost Pet Flyers, Lost Pet Reports, and social media posts. If submitting online Lost Pet Report, please send photos via email with Lost Pet - [Owner's Last Name] as subject line.
  1. Post on social media 
    Post description of your missing pet, photos, and location on social media sites like Craigslist (post in both Lost & Found and in Pets and renew every three days), Facebook and Nextdoor. Refer to the Lost Pet Resource Packet for guidance on creating such posts.
  1. Make and Post Flyers
    Hang flyers in heavy traffic areas and public spaces near where your pet was last seen. Good old fashioned leg work is still the best way to locate a missing pet. Refer to the Lost Pet Resource Packet for a sample flyer that you can use or make one online using the 24PetWatch Lost Pet Poster Generator.
  2. Use Online Tools
    Use Petco Love Lost and PetFBI to expand your search through those online databases. 

     Petco Love Lost uses facial recognition to match shelter animals with missing pets.

    Wondering why you should use this new technology? Here are our top five reasons:

    1. It’s easy. Anyone with a smartphone or computer can upload a lost or found dog or cat instantly.
    2. It’s FREE. Although millions of dollars have been invested into this technology, it doesn’t cost them a penny.
    3. It helps find pets homes. It’s not just about helping lost pets. Our dogs and cats that are Available for Adoption are also on Petco Love Lost.
    4. It’s not just for dogs. Dogs aren’t the only pets that get out. Petco Love Lost is optimized to work for our feline friends as well.
    5. It saves lives. At our shelter, our number one goal is to keep pets safe before they even reach our doors. Using this tool, we can all become superheroes and help keep our shelter empty.

    Registering with a personal Petco Love Lost account can keep our entire community safe. Pet owners can register to help find missing pets or proactively before pets go missing.

    All you need to do is visit Petco Love Lost

    1. Upload your pet’s picture
    2. Enter your pet’s name, age, and breed
    3. Enter your name, email address, and zip code 

    The more animals that make it home before entering our doors, the more room we all have to continue being successful in the future. If we all do our small part, it will make a big difference for the lives of the animals in our community.

You can also view the photos and profiles below to see if your pet has been taken in at the Animal Services Center. However, all animals may not be included, so we recommend that you check this page frequently for new photo uploads and visit the facility in person every couple days.

Please note that all animals are named upon intake, so your pet may be listed by a different name.

Sterilization is encouraged for all dogs and cats reclaimed from Animal Services Center.

Search Pets Reported As Lost

The following search tools pull data from our records management system and provide live lost pet data to this web page. These are beloved companion animals whose owners are searching for them. By sharing these records we are giving the world information about pets that have been reported by community members to Animal Services as lost; giving them a better chance at being found. Lost records are posted to the search tool as they are entered into the records management system. People who find roaming pets can use these tools to help get them back to their families quicker and often without requiring intake at a shelter.

Lost Dogs


Lost Cats

Other Lost Pets



Pets and Animals