- File a lost report with the Shelter. You may do this by calling 983-4309 x606 or visiting the Shelter in person.
- Canvas your neighborhood. Visit your neighbors and put up posters. (Some copy shops do this for free.)
- Put a "Lost Pet" ad in the Santa Fe Scoop, the New Mexican, Craigslist, and the Reporter at no charge.
- Call the Shelter often to see if your animal is here.
- Visit the Shelter website "Lost Pets" section below. The website is updated several times each day.
More tips on find your lost pet
The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is very concerned about your lost pet. We do all that we can to support people in finding their missing companions.
The holding period for a stray animal is five (5) days for an animal without traceable tags or microchip and seven (7) days for an animal with traceable identification.
Positive identification of the pet is the sole responsibility of the owner. If you have lost your pet, we urge you to call the shelter every day. We can make no guarantee that your pet can or will be identified with the information provided in your report. All animals that enter the Shelter are photographed and posted on our website under Lost and Found Pets at www.sfhumanesociety.org. These postings are updated several times a day. Do not rely solely on our web postings to see if your animal is here. Our web posting is no substitute for regular contact with the Shelter.
Here are some tips in finding your lost pet:
• Play an active role in finding your lost pet.
• Start a foot search immediately. The sooner you start searching, less distance your pet will have traveled. Thoroughly search the surrounding property and continue in the direction that your pet was last seen heading. Go door to door, starting close by initially, moving further out later. Talk to everyone you meet and leave a flyer.
• Carry a flashlight and check EVERYWHERE: in closets and all accessible spaces inside your home; behind washers, inside culverts, in heavy brush, sheds, basement crawl spaces, open garages, under decks. Your pet may be stuck somewhere, extremely frightened, or injured and lying low. For lost cats and other climbing critters, check trees, roofs, and attics.
• Leave out food and water, as well as belongings with a familiar scent.
• Go out at night when the streets are quiet, call for your pet, and then listen for any response. Many animals forage for food between 1-5 a.m. because they feel safer in the dark. The more timid your pet is, the quieter and more slowly you should walk. Bring food and make a noise that would motivate your pet to come running towards you (tapping on a can or rustling a kibble bag). Keep your safety in mind as well.
• Leave a message on your answering machine asking for the date, time, and location when the caller may have last seen your missing animal, as well as the caller's name and phone number in case you have questions.
• Place an ad in the local paper and post on local pet websites, such as scoop.com. Check the Found Pet section of the newspaper. Many newspapers now have classifieds listed online. Both the Santa Fe New Mexican and The Reporter will run lost pet ads at no charge.
The Santa Fe New Mexican – 986-3000. The Santa Fe Reporter – 983-1212.
• Check www.petharbor.com and www.craigslist.com
• If you have recently moved, check your old neighborhood and talk with people there and post flyers.
• Make and post flyers over a one mile area from where your pet went missing. Downloadable flyer templates can be found online.
Print "LOST CAT or LOST DOG" in large letters. Include: your pet's size, coloring, hair length, and any distinctive markings, whether it has a collar, location pet was last seen, as well as a phone number where you can be reached. If you want, add that calls are welcome 24 hours a day. If your pet is timid, add that your pet may run if approached. If your pet is a cat, ask that neighbors be on the alert and notify you if they hear sounds of cat fights, caterwauling, or meowing.
For safety considerations, DO NOT include your name, address, or a specific reward amount.
• Post color flyers at local veterinary offices, pet stores, pet groomers, Laundromats, and community bulletin boards. Make black and white versions of the flyers and leave one at each nearby house.
• Many neighbors will assume that after a couple weeks either the animal is found or the owner gives up. After a few weeks, remind them that you continue to search with a follow up flyer that says STILL LOST.
• Talk to everyone you meet. Show them the poster and ask if they have seen your pet — particularly neighbors who leave food out for animals, walkers and joggers, children, newspaper carriers, mail and package delivery people.
• As time passes, be sure to keep your presence in the neighborhood known. If neighbors see you looking, it will remind them to keep their eyes out. You can't be everywhere at once — depend on others to be your eyes and ears.
Don't give up after only a few days, or simply wait for your pet to return on his/her own. Many pets are found weeks or months after they disappear. With knowledge, persistence, and proper techniques MANY pets can be found.
Click the links below to view cats, dogs and other animals.
Lost Cats | Lost Dogs | Lost Other Animals
Bringing Animals to the Shelter
The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is an open-admission shelter. To download a copy of our intake policy, please click here. For questions, call our receiving staff at (505) 983-4309 x606.