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Tips for Finding Your Lost Pet

Above all, make sure your pet is wearing a current license tag and/or has a microchip!

If a pet wearing identification is brought to the shelter, we will make every effort to contact the owner. Animals with microchips are identifiable even if they have lost their identification tag, but only if the information on the microchip is kept up to date by the owner.


Check Alachua County Animal Services

Give us a call (352) 264-6870 or stop by at least twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays ideally) to see if your pet has been picked up or turned in. Stray animals are held for three business days, which do not include Sundays, Mondays, Holidays when the shelter is closed to the public or the day the animal was brought to the shelter.

Place a Notice on Animal Services Lost & Found Board

Even if you leave a notice on the board, you should continue to check the shelter regularly. Some pets are difficult to match to written descriptions.

Post Flyers

Post flyers in your neighborhood or the area where you last saw your animal. Flyers should include your pet's name, a description (with your pet's distinguishing characteristics), a picture (if possible), where your pet was last seen, your telephone number and a reward for the person who returns your pet if you plan to offer one.

You should also place ads in veterinarian offices near to your home. If someone has found your pet and he or she is injured, they might bring them to a veterinary clinic for treatment. With flyers posted, the vet may be able to recognize your lost pet.

Place Ads

Place an ad in the classified (Lost and Found) section of local publications like The Gainesville Sun with your pet's name, a description (with your pet's distinguishing characteristics), a picture (if possible), where your pet was last seen, your telephone number and a reward for the person who returns your pet if you plan to offer one. (Some newspapers will run these ads at no charge.)

You can also place an ad through online classifieds like Craigslist. Online ads are almost always free, and may reach a greater range of people than a printed ad alone. You can also check Craigslist for Found postings that may match your pet's description.

Search On-Line

You can search our kennels online at PetHarbor.com. To use the search function, follow the instructions listed here. You can also list your missing pet at PetHarbor, and receive e-mail alerts when an animal similar to your pet's description comes in. To do that, use the "Lost My Pet" button instead.

Social Media websites offer a unique opportunity to post or search for Lost / Found pets, as well as the ability to "share" postings with many people at once. Groups like Gainesville Pet Finder on Facebook and others like them are a good place to begin.

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Under Florida law (Statute 119.011), all information, including e-mail, written letters, documents and phone messages, sent to the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners is subject to Public Records law. This includes the sender's e-mail address, home address or phone number if shown in the message, the content of the message and any associated attachments to the mail. Also please be aware that electronic correspondence (e-mail) is made available on the Commission's public archive site immediately upon being sent. Instead, contact Alachua County Offices by phone or in writing.