Every year hundreds of visitors to France have their holidays ruined when they lose the dogs they have taken with them to join in the family fun. It causes much angst and distress when a beloved pet goes missing so here are our top tips for actions you can take to try to recover your lost dog in France.
If you are taking your dog to France, you will need a passport and the dog must be chipped so, if someone finds the dog they will be able to take it to a vet and be able to locate you. Make sure that the records for your address are always up to date so that you can be found easily.
Your dog should have a collar with your address, email address and phone number so that if anyone finds your dog they can contact you straight away.
Websites that can help you find a lost dog in France
Post a message and photo on the French Pet Alert Facebook page for the region where your pet went missing. These pages are called Pet Alert – then the department and the department number. For example, if you lose your dog in Oise, Picardy, the Facebook page is Pet Alert Oise 60. You can also search and post on the general Facebook page Pet Alert France where you will find a listing of all the Pet Alert Facebook pages in France under “Likes”.
Contact the local SPA where lost dogs are taken in France. SPA stands for Societe Protectrice des Animaux. There are 56 of these animal shelters in France and each year they take in 40,000 animals. You can find them on the French site Pages Jaunes – type in SPA and then the area you are looking or check on their website: www.spa.asso.fr
There are also independent animal shelters throughout France such as the Phoenix Association in the Dordogne area. Conduct your search on the internet using the words “refuge pour animaux ” and the area in which you lost your dog.
Check with the local vets to see if anyone has posted notices of dogs that have been found, ask them if you can put up a poster with details of your lost dog. You will find vets details on the Pages Jaunes site – type in the word “veterinaire” and the area you are looking.
You could also ask at the local town hall and police station if you can post a photograph and contact details – in smaller villages and towns this may be a very effective way to reach local people.
Place details on the “Chien Perdu” (Lost Dog) website, posting an ad is free and simple – use Google Translate to create a message in French.
Practical Advice for helping you to get your dog back in France
If someone says that they have found your dog, try to get them to send you a photo so you can be sure. Don’t send money to a finder as a reward before you get your dog back, there are some unscrupulous people who may claim to have found your dog, or it could be a simple error but you do need to be sure that the dog they have found is definitely yours.
Read our story about the lost dogs we found in France and how we found their owner.