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Posters for Recovery


We have done a lot of search work.  The thing that most often aids in the recovery of your lost pet is large, bright colored posters posted along the roads near where your pet has gone missing.  These large posters are easy to see and read and generate sightings and information that is essential to recovering your lost companion animal.  Really, the posters work, and it does not take a lot of time or money to make them.  They are very important to get up QUICKLY so people know your pet is LOST and not ABANDONED.

  • Before you start - decide how many posters you will need.  Pull up a map of the area where your pet went missing.  Depending on the 'type of pet' depends on how many/how far you need to poster.  Always plan for EXTRA posters as you may need more later or decide you want more up once you start putting them up.

Indoor only cats that get out, generally don't go to far, so you can start with covering the the streets/intersections closest to you in every direction.


Indoor/outdoor cats have a territory.  Its probably bigger than you think.  You should cover several streets/intersections in every direction.


Small dogs can go surprisingly far.  Don't skimp.  Again several streets/intersections in every direction.


Large dogs can go very far.  Do really good coverage for several streets/intersections in every direction, and then maybe a few key intersections farther out.


Birds, turtles, tortoises, etc. - Assuming the birds wings are clipped you can treat all these like an indoor only cat in terms of poster placement.  If the birds wings are not clipped, than think large dog.


As you get calls generated from your posters you may need to make more or move them in the direction your pet seems to be traveling.

  • You will need  bright poster board (28 x 22 inch), a large (fat) black sharpie, plastic page covers (like for a 3 ring binder), a staple gun, good strong clear tape, duct tape, and paper/ink for your printer.  All these things can be purchased from either Staples or Walmart.  You may also need a scissor.

  • To make your posters, you will need to print pictures of your missing pet onto 8x11 in paper.  Color is helpful, but black and white will do.  Make the picture the size of the paper (i.e. when printing the picture tell it to print full size page).  If there is a lot of other stuff in the picture - then crop it out so that your pet is the focus.  You will then put these pictures in the plastic sleeves you purchased.


  • It is best to just use the poster board full size - yes its big, but its very obvious and gets seen.


  • You tape the picture (in the plastic sleeve) in the middle.


  • On top write LOST DOG, CAT, BIRD (whatever the animal) in big letters.


  • Below that you can write a brief description of the animal (i.e., black with tan strips)


  • The picture is in the middle


  • Next - Even if your pet is friendly it is important to note that our pets behavior often changes when they are lost.  We recommend always writting DO NOT CHASE or DO NOT APPROACH.  The worst thing is when a lost pet is spotted, gets chased by some well meaning person, and now you no longer know if it is in that spot.


  • At the bottom write the phone number that you want them to call.

Really, this is what works! 


Minimal info (so not hard to read), big picture, bright colors.


We call it POP (Power of Posters).

  • When placing your posters on poles or signs, remember to place them facing the direction a car is coming from (that's why you might need two (2) for a spot on the road, or four (4) at intersections.


  • When putting the posters up, use only a few (2-3) stapes at the top and bottom of the poster, relatively close together - you want the poster to lay flat, not curve around the pole.


  • You want it to be super easy for people/drivers to spot them and get the info they need.  If I was covering this street with posters, I would put one facing the other direction as well.


  • Lastly, you need to monitor your posters.  Weather/rain can all have an effect and you may need to fix them (replace a picture), rehang, or put an entirely new one up.  And posters can be taken down by people - this can happen in every type of neighborhood.

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