“Plan for a Happy Reunion:” A Guide to Finding Lost Cats and Dogs

(To go directly to the PDF of the guide, please click here.)

Our "Plan for a Happy Reunion" guide offers easy-to-follow steps to help you keep your pet safe, as well as tips for what to do if your pet gets lost.

Keeping your cat or dog safe gives you peace of mind. An important part of this is planning ahead. Our guide offers tips on how to keep your pet safe, such as keeping a record of your pet, always having an updated picture of your pet on hand, and getting a microchip for your cat or dog.

About 50 percent of “indoor” cat owners don’t microchip their cats because they don’t think their cats will get outside or get lost, says Ohio State researcher and veterinarian Dr. Linda Lord. Ironically, another Ohio State study found that 41 percent of pet owners looking for a lost cat were looking for an “indoor-only” cat that got outdoors.

If your pet does get lost, our guide lays out steps to help you find your pet, including contacting local animal agencies, distributing fliers, notifying neighbors, going online, and advertising.

This guide was designed by The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, supported by a grant from the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a Key Bank Trust, to help owners keep their pets safe.

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About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State

Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 35,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patients each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health. http://vet.osu.edu.