Prevention of Lost Pets

Securing Your Home

  • The best way to prevent a lost pet is by ensuring that he cannot get out of his home or play space. Around your home look for places that your pet can escape. If your pet darts out the door, warn visitors to shut the door quickly. Train your pet to stop this dangerous behavior by rewarding him with toys or treats when sitting nicely at the door. Cats can be trained too.
  • Install screens on windows.
  • Ensure window screens are not easily popped out when leaned against.
  • In your yard, ensure your fence is adequate to keep your pet in. Sometimes fences need to be taller or sunk into the ground (to prevent digging under).
  • Ensure that gates are not left open and cannot be easily opened by a passer-by.

A dog license is the first thing our officers check when finding a lost dog. If your dog is wearing his license, our officers can give your pet a ride home. Click here to find out how to license your dog.

Personalized Tag
If your pet does get out, an identification tag can easily get him back home.  Tags should have all of your current contact information including multiple phone numbers and address. A variety of styles and colors of personalized tags can be purchased from Santa Cruz County Shelter. 

Sometimes tags and collars can get lost. A microchip is a permanent form of identification that is implanted under the skin of your pet.  Shelters and veterinary offices are able to read the microchip and get information about your pet.  Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter provides microchips to pets for $15 (includes registration). Once your pet has a microchip, it is imperative that you ensure that your contact information is up-to-date with the microchip company.

Keep Your Pet’s ID Information Current
Have you moved? Given an animal away? Received your pet with someone else's identification on? All these situations are everyday occurrences here and result in improper owner identification. Please keep your pet's information current.

Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Pets that are spayed or neutered are less likely to roam because their instinct to mate will be lessened. By spaying or neutering you can keep your happy, healthy pet at home.