Information for those who have LOST pets in Hillsborough County
The Volunteers open the shelter on Sundays (cept for any Holidays that may fall on that day) from 1-3 so you may look for your lost pet, or ‘window shop’.
INFORMATION FOR THOSE WHO HAVE
LOST PETS IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
***Please read the following information very carefully. IT IS LONG, BUT ALL THE INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT!!
This information is to give you some ‘tips’ for what to do in case your pets goes missing.
Please go down IN PERSON and check at Hillsborough County Animal Services for your missing pet. You can also check the HCAS website (link is below) BUT, you must make visits IN PERSON to look for your pet. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO BE CERTAIN YOUR PET IS OR ISN’T THERE. Your visits to HCAS need to start IMMEDIATELY!!
Check for your missing pet under “search our shelter animals”
1. VISIT THE HCAS SHELTER: (READ THIS PART CAREFULLY)
Go to the link above and look for “Online Adoption Kennels” AND “Search Animals at our Shelter” Look through EACH page of pets daily, BUT, REMEMBER, YOU MUST GO VISIT IN PERSON A MINIMUM OF EVERY 4 DAYS in order to keep your pet safe IF they happen to find their way into the HCAS facility. YOU know your pet better than anyone! When an animal arrives at the shelter without identification, they only hold it 5 days. At the end of that 5 day hold period, the animal may be euthanized, or put up for adoption. YOU MUST ‘ASSUME’ THAT YOUR PET WAS PICKED UP BY HCAS THE DAY IT WENT MISSING..FOR IF IT WAS..THAT DAY WOULD BE “DAY 1” !!
* Even if your pet had some form of ID, (meaning tag, or microchip), please consider to treat your search as though it does not. Tags can come off…or be taken off…and it is advised to always consider that when searching the HCAS facility
It is very important that you keep checking the HCAS shelter on a regular, 4 day cycle. The website can be used in conjunction with your search, BUT, please remember that it is only a ‘tool’ to be used in between ‘IN PERSON’ visits. Sometimes the site is not up-to-date as it should be. Getting pictures online sometimes takes one or two days after an animal’s arrival. Those days are CRITICAL times in your search…that is why IN PERSON visits are so important. Also keep in mind that the written descriptions of animals may not be completely accurate…sometimes, NOT EVEN close. Due to the way the website is set up, it sometimes restricts descriptions in the way pets are presented. And, the pictures can sometimes be deceiving. These are more reasons why IN PERSON visits are so important.
2. USE OTHER SOURCES FOR YOUR SEARCH: Also on the HCAS home page above are links that will take you to ‘Pet Harbor where the public may list ‘Found” pets. Check out all areas that may be beneficial to your search. *Please make sure you check the link on the same page where the public can list ‘found’ animals.
(It is suggested that all of these advertising sources be used..Craigslist, Pet Harbor, Tampa Tribune etc for both placing your ‘lost’ ad and checking the ‘found’ ads) .
Click here for Pet Habor (Look for ‘Listing of Lost Animals)
Click here for Craigslist (post on the ‘Lost and Found’ and ‘Pet’ side of CL)
NEW!! We now have a Facebook Page for the Lost and Found Pets of Hillsborough County! The goal is to have one central place for the volunteers and Staff of Hillsborough County Animal Services to go so they may be of assistance in helping pets make their way back home. This page DOES NOT release you from the responsiblity of going to HCAS and doing your in person searching!! It is just another tool to use in the search of your missing or found pet.
3. ADVERTISE: We have had many success stories from people who immediately got some type of “Lost” posters up within the vicinity of the missing pet. Sometimes your pet may be right next door or very close to your home. BUT, you must also remember that someone may have picked up your pet in your area, taken it to their home in an area across town. DON’T RULE ANYTHING OUT! Stuff happens. That is why we also suggest that you place an ad in the “LOST” classifieds of the Tampa Tribune. Sometimes it motivates people come forward if they have found an animal. The Tampa Tribunes phone number is 259-7500. Don’t forget to check the “Found” section of the online and paper classifieds also! There is also a book at the front desk of HCAS where you may place a flyer for your missing pet..and a volunteer line where you can leave information. PLEASE do not walk away and expect HCAS to look for your pet. THAT is STILL your responsiblity.
4. WORD OF MOUTH: Please also consider informing people who visit your area daily about your missing pet. Your mail carrier, trash collectors…neighborhood children…these people are in your area daily…they cover a lot of territory. Also contact the local vets in your area..including the emergency vet clinics. These are more eyes to help you look.
5. REMAIN ACTIVE WITH YOUR SEARCH…DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED TOO EASILY / EARLY: I CANNOT STRESS THIS PART ENOUGH!! There are a lot of happy endings because people don’t give up their search too quickly. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU ACTIVELY SEARCH FOR AT LEAST 8+ WEEKS!!!
HCAS takes in approximately over 100 animals a day.
This may give you some perspective on why HCAS cannot help you locate your missing pet by phone, and why in person visits are so important. YOU ARE THE BEST ONE TO IDENTIFY YOUR PET! Please also be aware that is your pet is found at HCAS there will be ‘bail-out’ fees involved!
“Spay and Neuter” & “Microchipping”
Please help us help you by microchipping your pets, and please help the pet population by sterilizing your pet.
*Although the microchip is not a surefire way to see your pet home, it certainly helps. Please make sure the information for your chip is kept up to date. ** For animals that come into the HCAS facility with a chip (or another form of ID, as in a tag) the hold time is 10 days.
Check the links below for low cost Microchipping and Spaying and Neutering Information