How to Help Lost Pets in Miami

found dogs MiamiDade

What to do if you find lost pets in Miami

As pet sitters, we receive a lot of frantic calls for help relocating lost pets in Miami. Finding a lost pet can be a harrowing experience, but luckily we have many resources available to us to help make the process easier for both human and animal. We’ve written this blog post as a guide on what to do if you find lost pets in Miami, complete with links to lost and found sites. Please share with your friends!

  1. Think safety first. We’re animal lovers, which  means sometimes we use our hearts before our heads when we see a lost dog or cat. It’s important to remain calm and aware of your surroundings before helping a pet. Don’t run into traffic after an animal- you can’t help him if you become a victim of an accident yourself! Once you’re closer to the pet, observe it for signs of disease (rabies) or aggression and fear to make an informed choice.
  1. Understand the risks and responsibility: being bitten by an animal is painful, no matter the size. Worse, if a dog without a known vaccination record bites you, you will have to go through painful rabies treatment. Once you start helping a dog, it’s yours until you find its home, or a new one. Veterinary care can be costly, and dropping the dog off at Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) can be a death sentence. More on what to do below.
  2. Approach carefully: If the animal is friendly, you are safe to look for its information on its collar. But remember to approach the animal in a calm, reassuring manner. Treats are always a good way to get close to a hungry pet, and remember to have a leash handy. Slip leads are the easiest for this. 

Finding a Lost Pet’s Owner: It Can Be Done

We always hope that dogs and cats have proper identification and a microchip, because it usually makes reuniting them with their family much easier! Call the number on the collar and make sure you can confirm that whomever answers is indeed the owner. No collar? Take it to your nearest veterinarian to get it scanned for a microchip. Most veterinarians will do this free of charge. If the pet has a microchip, and you get in contact with the owner, you and the dog or cat are lucky!

No Microchip or Collar with ID?

Unfortunately, we hear more often than not that a pet has gotten loose of its collar and that it has no microchip (we’re advocates of microchipping pets; losing a collar is all too easy and creates major and preventable headaches). At this point, the dog or cat is your responsibility and we would urge you to put yourself in that pet owner’s shoes. How would you like your pet treated in a similar situation? That being said, keep these tips in mind:

  • If you have it on a leash, perhaps look for someone who lives in the neighborhood and ask if they recognize the dog.
  • Call veterinarians in the area you found the pup- sometimes they might recognize it or know the owner is looking
  • Take photographs and add the pet to Finding Rover, a free mobile app that helps owners who use the app to find their pets
  • Network the dog or cat on social media or sites like Nextdoor. It is so helpful and spreads like wildfire. Post photos to lost pet forums on Facebook (we’ve included several links)
  • Post found posters with photos of the pet in the exact spot you found the dog or cat, and in the area
  • Look for lost pet ads in the area or online; check back often as owners might have been on vacation and therefore not able to post
  • Put an ad out in the Miami Herald Pet Classified sections; it’s free
  • Take it home. If you have pets, be sure to keep them away until you know whether or not the animal is sick, fearful, or aggressive

Remember, when you do find the owner, to be sure that they can prove ownership. Ask open-ended questions, such as “describe your dog’s unique features,” instead of answering questions about description.

Take Lost Pets Home:

Why take the dog or cat home? We urge you to take the pet home with you if at all possible, or to find a friend willing to foster it while you find its owner, over taking it to Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS). If you can’t bring it home or pay for boarding at a vet, you can call a variety of rescues. They are usually at full capacity, but it’s worth a try and preferable to taking the pet to MDAS, where the pet has an uncertain future. By law, stray dogs over 6 months will be held for a mere three days. The staff then places the pet up for adoption if they judge it to be healthy and not aggressive. In cases where the dog isn’t eligible for adoption, no rescue group takes it, the dog may be euthanized because of ill health, temperament, or lack of space. This is taken directly from the MDAS website, so please heed our warnings.

Posting a Found Pet in Miami:

We’ve compiled a short list of resources for sharing the pet you’ve found online. Please post on every Facebook group regarding lost pets in Miami, and remember to keep your Facebook post about the pet set to public so everyone can share!

-Lost Dogs of Broward and Dade County

-Lost Pets- South Florida MiamiDade Broward

-Lost and Found Pets of SE Florida – Broward, Dade & Palm Beach County’s

-Miami-Dade Lost Pets

-Pets Lost and found of south florida Network

-The Shelter Project:

-Pet Harbor


Rudy’s New Human: A Q & A with the author

Rudy’s New Human: A Q & A with the author

Rudy's New Human cover

Local Miami author Roxanna Elden was inspired to write “Rudy’s New Human,” thanks to her experience with her first pregnancy and her beloved pup, Rudy. The book is told from the point of view of Rudy, a scrappy schnauzer mix who is ready to share his life with his new sister but encounters some unexpected experiences on the road to becoming his new human’s friend.

This is a great book for kids aged three to six, especially children expecting their first little brother or sister, since it touches on many important lessons on building bonds of friendship and overcoming obstacles. “Rudy’s New Human” is beautifully illustrated by Ginger Seehafer, and at 32 pages it is the perfect length for story time. While it’s not meant as a training tool (there are many online resources for introducing dogs to babies and children for that), it’s a great conversation starter for learning how pets might feel around new children. 

Being pet care providers, we were curious to know Roxanna’s inspiration, process, and research behind “Rudy’s New Human”! 


Rudy’s New Human: A dog’s POV on its new baby

1. The inspiration for “Rudy’s New Human” was from personal experience with Rudy and your own child. How did you prepare Rudy for meeting his new family member?

Rudy was already about 6 years old when my older child was born. In dog years, that’s already middle aged! While he wasn’t too old to learn new tricks, he mostly kept his old habits – sleeping on the couch, sniffing at the cabinet where we keep his treats, and obeying commands only when visible lunchmeat is involved.

2. How did Rudy react to a new baby in the house initially, and has that changed?

Rudy was very good with the kids, but he definitely noticed the change in how much attention he received. There were many moments where he gave us the canine cold shoulder and walked into the other room to sleep.

3. After going through the experience, what would you tell first-time mothers/couples about what to expect with bringing in baby, and the first tender months?

It’s natural to experience some “pet parent guilt” at first. After all, your dog was the baby of your family before you had human children. Now, suddenly, you’re juggling vet and pediatrician visits, dog feeding and baby feeding, and yeah… maybe have forgotten to clip the dog’s nails for a while, okay?

4. Would you do anything differently knowing what you know now?

Right before my second baby was due, I took Rudy to the groomers and got his fur trimmed as short as possible. It wasn’t his favorite look, but it was an improvement over the first time around, when he suffered through the Miami summer heat surrounded by a puffy, fur coat. I also remind pregnant pet parent friends to schedule a pre-baby vet checkup and get all the dog’s shots up to date. If you have a big dog that needs walking, you might also want to have a dog walker or pet sitter on call to come make sure the dog is taken care of. Even though you’ll be home, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of care the baby requires – and your schedule will definitely get thrown off!

5. Does Rudy go on book tours with you?

With two kids under three in the house, there hasn’t been much of a book tour, but Rudy does tag along on dog friendly book talks and school visits. At our book release event at Books and Books in Coral Gables, he felt like a “bone-afied” celebri-dog.

6. How do you discipline Rudy with your child, and vice versa?

Rudy needed to learn not to chew with the kids’ toys. In his defense, though, baby toys look a lot like dog toys! The kids needed practice and direction to learn to “pet Rudy nicely.” As most dogs can tell you, this means no ear-tugging, tail-pulling, paw-snatching, grabbing of loose skin, or petting of eyes and nose. To keep things simple, I’ve narrowed this list down to three guidelines that I review with my own children and also with students at school visits:Pet gently, no grabbing, and only pet the dog on his back.


As you can see, pregnancy does not mean your dog has to go! Five of our dog walking clients have had babies this year or will be having them, and all of them have kept their pooches around. They are dog people, and understand that a pet is family and an asset for their babies, yet also an animal that should be prepared and trained to welcome a new being.  With proper training and supervision, they can be baby’s first best friend!

You can purchase your copy of Rudy’s New Human on Amazon. Enjoy!

The dirty truth behind biodegradable poop bags

EPS GreenLine biodegradable poop bags

The dirty truth behind biodegradable poop bags

 Did you know plain plastic and traditional “biodegradable” poop bags are NOT made to biodegrade in a landfill environment?
It is a fact that bags labeled biodegradable or degradable require UV light (sunlight) and oxygen to break down, which are not present in a landfill environment.
Equipaws Pet Services is going green with GreenLine poop bags. This is the first bag on the market made with a special additive that renders the bags biodegradable in modern landfills. To celebrate our beautiful planet on Earth Day, Equipaws is handing out a complimentary roll to each attendee at DoggyFest Miami and Pinecrest Earth Day.

How GreenLine biodegradable poop bags work:

The special additive attracts microbes and bacteria already present in landfills. they colonize on the surface of the bag and completely digest the plastic. the result is organic matter, CO2 and methane gas, proof that biodegredation has occurred.

These bags have been tested and approved! Conducted by an independent lab, our bags have been tested to authenticate our claims. the test method determines the degree and rate of biodegradation in an anaerobic environment, a.k.a landfill.

If you are interested in making the world a better place for you and your furry friend please email us at to order!
Join Equipaws at these upcoming Earth Day Events!
Sunday, April 17th
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
3349 Pan American Drive Coconut Grove, FL
Admission: Adults: $10 Children 11 and under $6
Enjoy an exciting day in beautiful Miami dedicated to your canine companion to share and enjoy a wide variety of their favorite activities, shows, demos and of course, lots and lots of treats!
Sunday, April 17th
Time: 12:00 – 4:00 PM
Admission: FREE
Enjoy the beauty of the gardens while participating in activities for the entire family.  This event is not furry friendly.