Social media posts can reach thousands of people, but are they the right people? Your missing pet post may be seen by people all over the country, but not in your neighborhood. That said, they do sometimes lead to reunions. Post on your own page and on local lost and found, pet, and buy/sell pages.
Nextdoor or the equivalent in your area are often effective in generating leads. These sites reach close neighbors who are more likely to have seen your pet than someone in another town. We have seen many posts stating that a missing cat is actually visiting two doors down!
We strongly encourage shelters to post photos and descriptions of impounded pets. Sites like Petharbor and Petango connect directly with shelter software systems, providing a live update of found animals. Many shelters also post on Facebook and other social media, showing pets found that day and a link to all others currently housed.
Craigslist in the U.S., Kijiji in Canada, and other similar web sites are popular for buying and selling, searching for a job or housing, social connections, and lost and found pets. Be sure to check both the "lost and found" and "pets" sections. Be aware that posting on these sites may cause you to receive spam or scam messages (see our Myths and Scams page for more details).
Helping Lost Pets is a free national database of lost and found pets. HeLP's partners at Lost Dogs of America have state chapters with varying levels of volunteer assistance for pet owners. Many of these chapters partner with their local animal shelters to implement best practices around lost pet prevention and recovery.
While many reunions are brought about through the internet and social media, the majority occur as a result of physical searches, involving neighbors, and posting effective signs. You will be more successful in your search by using several focused techniques appropriate for your situation.