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What to do if you lose your pet

Humane Society of the Nature Coast
The information on this page is meant as a resource for those who have lost or found a pet. It is a starting point for those who have relied on the Humane Society of the Nature Coast for more than 50 years to be a compassionate friend to animals in need.
What To Do If You’ve Lost a Dog or Cat
Act immediately. The longer you wait, the farther your pet can travel.

Losing your pet can be a stressful, even traumatic, experience. But knowing how to respond will help you be more effective in your search and increase your odds of being reunited with your furry friend.

Likewise, if fate brings someone else’s lost pet into your life, you should be prepared to do your part to get the word out that you have found someone’s wandering companion.

  1. Contact Local Animal Shelters and Animal Control Services

File a lost pet report with every shelter within a 60-mile radius of your home. Be prepared to provide these agencies with an accurate description, a recent photograph of your pet, and contact information. Visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible.

Often times, HSNC is the first stop for people who have found a lost pet. Although the HSNC is not permitted to accept strays due to county ordinance, we can scan the animal for a microchip, and will make every effort to reunite the animal with it’s owner.

If you believe your pet was stolen, notify the police ASAP.

2. Search Your Neighborhood

Knock on all your neighbors’ doors and leave information about how you can be reached in case they spot or find your pet. Bring a box of treats and your pet’s favorite squeaky toy. Walk, bike or drive slowly through your neighborhood several times each day. Talk to the mailman and delivery drivers and hand them a photograph of your pet with your contact information.

3. Signs and Fliers

Post fliers or signs at gas stations, grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, pet supply stores and other locations. Include your pet’s sex, age, weight, breed, color. If you include a picture, crop the picture so any distinguishing features are NOT shown. Do NOT share all distinguishing marks, scars, or coloring patterns so that you can verify a caller actually has your pet.

4. Use the Internet

5. Don’t Give Up!

Pets have gone missing for months and still been reunited with their owners. A pet with a collar or ID tag with their name and phone number or a microchip have a much better chance of being returned home.  Make sure you’ve done all you can to ensure your pet is well equipped for a safe return in the event they go missing.


give your address to anyone. NEVER meet callers alone. If a caller demands cash in exchange for your pet’s safe return, call the police.

After Your Pet Comes Home…

Take down your flyers. Notify all alerted agencies that your pet has been found.

Important Note

Due to county ordinance, the Humane Society of the Nature Coast is not permitted to accept strays. If you have found a lost pet they must be taken to Hernando County Animal Services.

Hernando County Animal Services

19450 Oliver St., Brooksville
(behind the fairgrounds on U.S. 41)

(352) 796-5062


Open Tuesday – Friday
9:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday 10 AM to 3 PM
Closed Sunday and Monday


9075 Grant St., Brooksville

(352) 596-7000


Open Tuesday thru Sunday
11 AM to 4 PM
Closed Monday

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