Help, I Lost My Pet!
#1: Request a "Lost Post" on The Lost Pets of Omaha Area Facebook Page
This page has links to the Nebraska Humane Society LOST pet page. It also has a lengthy set of proven search tips.
If you have not yet done so, please send these items to us via Facebook Messenger using the button below:
- Where was the pet at or last seen? (Use closest cross streets / intersection).
- Description or comments that you want to include.
- Decide how you want to be contacted. Phone numbers or using Facebook Messenger.
- Have a clear photo.
#2 Contact Your Local Animal Shelter
When a person has lost a pet, many times the first thing that comes to mind is to contact their local animal shelter. If you file a “Found Pet” report with them, they will have a record in the event that somebody contacts them looking for their lost pet. For the Omaha, Nebraska and surround areas, contact the Nebraska Humane Society. For the Council Bluffs area, contact the Midlands Humane Society.
#3 Review Our Search Tips
Over the years, we have collected a number of tips proven to be effective based on real results from our followers.
The following tips are for all lost pet types:
- Check at your local animal shelter IN PERSON every day. Do not depend on just calling. People may describe a pet differently than you would describe it. The only way to be sure is to go in person.
Stray hold times (the time period which animal control will hold a stray before it is placed for adoption):
Omaha, Douglas County, Ralston and areas outside of NHS service areas – 3 days
Sarpy County (Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, Gretna) – 5 days
Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County – 72 hours (3 days)
After these hold times, a stray can be placed for adoption. PLEASE VISIT DAILY.
- Get fliers and signs out asap. These will bring in the leads you need.
- Stop any drivers (UPS, mail carrier, school bus drivers, etc.) in your area, many of them have been very helpful at watching while on their routes
- Tell near-by groomers, vet clinics, doggie day cares, boarding kennels. Many people take a found pet to these places.
- Post on your neighborhood page like NextDoor if you have one.
- Some people will post on Reddit (r/Omaha).
- Many people have started their own Facebook lost pet pages. Although that may result in more visibility, it more than often leads to confusion. People will post their pets as lost on one page. A person who finds a pet, may not know about that page and will post on a page that they know about. Lost Pets of Omaha Area has 54,000 followers. The other local Facebook pages have far fewer followers:
- Omaha, NE – Lost Dogs, Cats & Pets (12k)
- Omaha, NE Lost & Found Pets – Dogs / Cats (862)
- Council Bluffs Lost & Found pets (6.8k)
- Council Bluffs, IA Lost & Found Pets – Dogs / Cats (1k)
- Omaha Lost Pets (16k)
- Omaha we found your pet blog (214)
- Lost Pets of Omaha Area (60k)
- Lost Pets of Bellevue, Nebraska (8.5k)
- Missing Pets Of Council Bluffs/Omaha Areas (11k)
- Nebraska – Lost and Found Pets (15k)
- Lost and Found Or needing a home in CB/Omaha area (5.4k)
- Lost And Found Pets Ralston Lavista Papillion (2.6k)
- More seem to be added every day… so search on Facebook
Search Tips Specific to Dogs:
- Place a piece of your worn, unlaundered clothing and a bed or blanket of the pet’s outside where lost (these are “scent articles”). Dogs can detect familiar scents from a great distance. Set their food and water bowls out. Metal ones so you can hear if they are using them. Keep a light on. Set toys and treats out.
- Set out their kennel as a safe place to stay if its raining.
- Set up a trail cam or outside security camera with notifications so you know if your dog visited.
- Dogs tend to follow creeks and railroad tracks, when possible, so look for those spots
- NEVER CHASE A LOOSE PET! They are scared and quite often will even run from their owners. Chasing can cause them to run in to traffic getting injured or killed. Unfortunately, we have literally seen this happen; all because people think they can catch a pet by chasing it.
- DO NOT look straight in their eyes. Look off to the side.
- SIT ON THE GROUND. This is less threatening to a pet. Many will come to you slowly if you are calm and quiet.
- HAVE SMELLY FOOD WITH YOU. Hot chicken works great. The smell carries well. Toss small pieces towards the pet, making each piece land closer to you.
- MAKE A LEASH IN TO A SLIP LEAD. Take the clasp end and place it through their leash handle making a loop that can be placed over the pet’s head. Once over the head you can quickly pull the leash and make it tight, so pet is secure.
Search Tips Specific to Cats and Ferrets
- Place used litter box outside in a sheltered spot. Cats can detect their own scent from great distances (Yes, yes, we know, it is possible that it might attract critters.. but we can list countless examples of cats coming home as a result of this one technique)
- Thoroughly search your house. Cats are great at hiding. Many cats are reported as found… in their own house.
- Look late at night (after full darkness) since cats wander more when there is less noise.
- Shine a flashlight while looking at night it may catch the cat’s eyes. Look in storm drains, under sheds, cars, bushes and porches.
- Shake a package of treats, or carry a can of tuna, while calling the cat’s name.
- Leave your garage door up 5″ and leave food and water out.
Search Tips Specific to Birds
- Leave its cage outside with food inside it
- Walk the neighborhood. Your bird may just be in a close by tree.