The realization of when your pet is lost can be extremely overwhelming, to say the least. Even though it’s easier said than done, the most productive thing to do is stay calm and immediately take action for your lost pet.

No fluff, let’s get straight to the point. Here are 7 tips if your pet is lost in the Wake County area:

1. Let the Neighbors Know Your Pet Ran Away

women's hand knocking on door with door knocker.

You’re more likely to find your lost pet if you have multiple sets of eyes scanning the area. One of the best ways to spread the word fast is to use If you have Nextdoor for your neighborhood, post there first!

For the neighbors that don’t know you or the furball as well, stop by their door with a picture, your contact information, and home address.

2. Create A Missing Pet Post on Social Media

girl searching the internet on laptop with drinks next to her.

Besides utilizing Nextdoor, if it’s available for your neighborhood, share a picture of your pet on social media announcing that they’re missing.

Facebook is the best platform for others to see and share your post. The more people that can see what your pet looks like, the more likely that someone could recognize them.

Post on local Facebook groups. Ask the group members to share the post. Always have some sort of call to action is key. Stay as close to home with the groups as possible, but it doesn’t hurt to post it in a generalized area group such as “Wake County”.

Below is a list of local groups for lost and found pets in the Triangle area:

Be sure to use Craigslist for the Raleigh area. The best categories to create a listing are the following:

3. Activate Your Microchip Immediately When Your Pet is Lost

Man holding phone looking at screen.

Let the company your chip is registered with know that your pet is missing so they can alert the local network! Time is of the essence here as well. There’s so much to execute in so little time!

To prevent from losing your pet in the future, chip and tag your pets to give them the best shot at coming home! If your pet has been microchipped then make sure your info is up to date with the company the chip is through.

4. Always Have Your Pet’s Collars and IDs On Them

Dog with tag ids and collar.

Without a microchip, it’s nearly impossible to know if a lost animal has an owner if they’re found without a collar or tags. One of the most convenient and fastest ways for your pet to be identified is with external tags and identification on them.

Keep a collar, harness, and/or tags on your pet with your contact information at all times, even if they’re considered an indoor pet. This will increase the likelihood of someone returning your pet back to you, substantially, if they do runaway.

5. Visit Local Animal Shelters Often

Cat in a cage at an animal shelter.

Wake County Animal Shelter picks up lost pets from all over the Raleigh area. Visit Wake County Animal Shelter frequently – just about every other day if you’re able to. Additionally, going just one time is not enough. Persistence is key and don’t give up hope!

The rescued animals that are not claimed in a certain amount of days are eventually put up for adoption. Check out their Adoption Gallery. WCAS points people Triangle Lost Pets to report lost and found animals.

6. Think Outside of the Box

Flyer of missing dog on a pole of a wooded area.

Several people who find stray pets bring them to nearby animal hospitals. Veterinarians may be able to scan for microchips.

You need to be most efficient when putting up paper flyers. Sometimes it rains and the paper won’t last long without being laminated. This also helps prevent the paper from folding if it’s a windy day. Ensure the flyers are big enough for people to see from their car, especially your contact information. Place flyers in street corners that have lower speed limits, so it’s more likely for people to view as they roll by.

Think about the people that roam around your neighborhood all day for their job and are most likely to spot your lost pet. If you have kids that ride the bus to school, hand a flyer to the school bus driver. You can also give a flyer to your mail delivery person to keep an eye out.

Leave posts up on all of the pet stores and dog parks in the Wake County area. Hang flyers where people might stand for a short period of time such as gas pumps at gas stations, bus stops, laundromats, coffee shops, grocery stores, etc.

7. Use a Human Trap to Capture Your Missing Pet

Lost cat with large green eyes in humane trap.

Using a humane trap for cats and dogs can be the most effective way to bring your pet back home, especially if nothing else seems to be working. These traps for lost pets are safe to use for animals and humans. The traps vary on the size and type of your pet.

“We put food and litter out around the house. Finally, we had to set a humane trap and we trapped him within an hour! My understanding is with house cats, they typically stay close so setting a trap is usually a good idea.” – Gwen (current WoofPack Pet Care client)

Is Your Pet Lost in Wake County? Let WoofPack Pet Care Know

As a local pet sitting and dog walking business here in Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Fuquay Varina, and Morrisville, we can help spread the word for lost pets!

Every pet should be home safe with their loving owners. Email us at, we’re here to help.