Lost, Found & Stray

These three little words can make a huge difference in how they are used and in your results when dealing with reporting of a displaced pet.

This can become particularly confusing when reporting that you have FOUND an animal. Many people will still use the term LOST dog/cat when in fact they FOUND a displaced pet. For example, people may say ‘Lost Dog, found on the corner of Maine Street…’ or they may say ‘Found Lost Cat…’ – Both can be very confusing.

Here are some tips on how and when to correctly use the terms Lost, Found, and Stray.
Let’s start with STRAY. All domestic animals that are out and wandering are considered ‘stray’ animals but it is best to leave this word out of your posts and reports when sharing that you are trying to find the family of displaced animal. The term ‘stray’ is generally used to describe a ‘found’ pet that is in the care of a Shelter – not in the care of a member of the public. Many shelters are partnered with Finding Rover and their stray records are included in the FOUND animal listings.

FOUND is the term that should be used when a member of the public, like you, are posting or reporting that you are searching for the family of an animal you have FOUND. When reporting FOUND animals, you will want to leave the terms ‘lost’ and ‘stray’ out to avoid confusion. This will help greatly when using Finding Rover so that you get the results you are looking for. For example, in this situation you would report the animal as FOUND and run a search. Finding Rover will then look for all possible matches from the LOST reports in your area to see if there is a match!

LOST is the term that should be used when you have lost YOUR pet. When you make a LOST report on Finding Rover and run a search, Finding Rover will then look for all possible matches from the FOUND reports in your area, including animals that are found ‘strays’ in the care of local shelters. Remember, these animals will also show in the FOUND files in Finding Rover if the shelter is a Finding Rover Partner.

MISSING is another term that is commonly used but it too can cause confusion. It’s best to avoid this word and simply use the term LOST instead for clarity.

So remember:

Stray = found animals in the care of a shelter
Found = a displaced domestic animal that you have found and are trying to help get home
Lost = your pet that has gone missing that you are trying to find

Are your local shelters and rescues partnered with Finding Rover yet? Our goal is to get all shelters and rescues on board with Finding Rover to help in the rescue, reunion and adoption efforts across the country!

You can help by reaching out to your local shelters / rescues and letting them know how they can partner with Finding Rover for FREE! They can simply complete the form located at http://104.236.165.202/partners or send an email to [email protected]