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FAQ: What to do if you lose your pet in France

Christine Animal

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If your pet has a British microchip number, until it is registered over here, which can take some time, make sure he has your telephone number on his collar (collar with an elastic for a cat). If you are in France on holiday put the telephone number of where you are staying, or a mobile.

If your pet should go missing, act quickly. Inform as many people and authorities as possible:

The mairie, the gendarmes, the local fourrières (dog pounds), SPA and other refuges (animal shelters) found in the yellow pages or by minitel. Print posters with a photo of your pet to be distributed in the local shops, supermarkets, etc., anywhere where it can be seen. Put ads in the local newspapers.

A useful site is Animal Rescue http://www.animal-rescue.net/intro.htm

where they have a list of some of the refuges http://www.animal-rescue.net/Refuges.htm

and here http://www.viva-vous.net/services/refuges-fourrieres.php


If you cannot speak French, we are here to help. Contact us immediately, even all three of us, and we shall try to find the local authorities for you and inform them that your pet is missing. We can also put a photo on our sites. Please print this and keep it in case of need, it may even help someone else you know if they lose their cat or dog.


PHOENIX ASSOCIATION http://www.phoenixasso.com/index.html

Email sheerik@wanadoo.fr

Telephone Sheelagh and Richard Johnson 05 53 54 94 81


ANIMAL MATTERS http://hometown.aol.co.uk/animalmattersfr/animatterslostandfound.html

Email animalmattersfr@aol.com

Telephone Tiffany Stacpoole 05 53 31 23 61


ANIMAL AID http://animalaidsaintaubin.monsite.wanadoo.fr

Email Christine.aubertin@wanadoo.fr

Telephone Christine and Jean-Pierre Aubertin   05 49 07 67 60


If you do contact us about a lost pet, we would be very grateful if you would kindly let us know the outcome so that everyone can be informed and ads deleted.


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  • 8 months later...

Cheryl and Jasper's recent experience in finding their lost dog Ernie, as well as Opalienne's tale of how they found their cat, may be of help to anyone in a similar situation.


We would like to thank everyone who helped and
supported us in finding our dog Ernie.
We thought we would explain what we did and hopefully
this will help others in a similar situation.
We lost our dog late one night in a small village near
St Pol sur Ternoise. We are surrounded by as many as
forty other villages. In between are vast areas of
fields. It was hard not to panic once the dog had not
returned after 24 hours. He could have been anywhere
and was most likely disorientated.
Our first job was to contact all the near neighbours.
They were very supportive and gave a great deal of
helpful information. From this we did the following:

1 We were lucky to have the passport photo of Ernie
and were able to make up a poster and copy it in the
Maison de la Presse.
2 We were lucky to find a local lady who dedicates
herself to the care of all rescue animals.
3 We were allowed to put out a notice on Europe 2 the
local radio station.
4 We put a petite annonce in the local press.
5 We discovered of course this website and put
notices and description out on the net.
6 We contacted all the local vets; this got us our
first useful lead and a sighting of Ernie in a village
some 10 kms away.
7 We informed all the Mairies in the area and
Gendarmeries mostly by leaving our poster, but in a
number of cases we were able to entrust the
information to someone who said they would bring it up
at the next meeting.
8 We contacted the French RSPCA called SPA and they
gave us more information on refuges in the area.
9 We put posters on nearly every village notice board
(some are metal, take blue tack as well as drawing
pins) and also in cafes, bottle banks, supermarkets,
garages and newsagents. In fact any shop that would
take them. Whenever we could, we tried to start a
converstion about our "chien perdu". The reaction was
generally very sympathetic.
10 Also postmen and women were very helpful.
11 We put our mobile and home number on the poster but
the most crucial was a local number of a French
friend in the village which we drew attention to on
the poster. As it was recognizable as a French number
people were much less likely to be intimidated by it
than by the 00 44 code.

In the end our dog was taken in by a family 3 villages
away after four nights and days on the loose. They
made contact with our French friends the next day and
he was able to drop our dog back to us when we were
just on the point of having to return home in despair.

I would like to thank all the French families who helped us
and we now realise that the French like dogs as much
as we English. It takes a bit of finding but there is
a real network of refuges, kennels, vets and dog
lovers who will really put themselves out to help in
our area and I'm sure in other parts of France. We
also have to thank a number of hunters who also have a
great fondness for dogs.
Hope this might help.

Cheryl and Jasper.


Opalienne :

That's a great story and I am very happy for them.   Just to underline the point about hunters, our cat was missing for 3.5 months and we had completely given up hope.   Then one morning the garde de chasse rang the doorbell holding a sack and saying "I have a surprise for you".   We at first assumed that she was dead, but then the sack started moving and yowling!   He had found her in a trap and brought her straight back.   She was very scared but quite unhurt.

We were surprised, knowing the reputation of hunters for disliking cats (in our village it is rumoured that they are sometimes shot by trigger happy hunters).   But he said that he loved animals and had been very upset to hear that we had lost ours.

Incidentally, another useful method of spreading the search is to get a leaflet printed and have it delivered with the local freesheet.   We did this, and then made another 'thank you' note to be delivered in the same way.  It was very effective, judging from the number of comments we had about it.


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  • 2 months later...

Another tip used by the chasseurs if they have a dog missing after the chasse is to leave their coat and when the dog smells it, he waits by it.

So if ever you have a dog who has been sighted somewhere but won't let anyone catch him, you can leave something of yours in the area, hoping he will smell it and stay by it.


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  • 6 months later...
  • 5 years later...

A very important site which did not exist when I originally posted this is http://www.chien-perdu.org/


Whether you have lost a dog or found one, it can be posted on chien-perdu.org with a photo.  Anyone searching can look by breed, sex and/or département which is very useful as pets can be traced in any part of France and not just locally.


The same facility exists for cats http://www.chat-perdu.org/


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