SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – An estimated 10 million dogs and cats are stolen each year in the United States, according to the American Humane Association.

What can you do immediately to help find your pet?

Contact your local animal shelter or animal control agency

  • File a report with every shelter within 60 miles of your home
  • Visit nearby shelters daily

Give the shelter or animal control agency an accurate description

  • Provide a recent picture
  • No detail is too small

Call area veterinarians and veterinary hospitals

  • Describe your pet
  • Provide contact info

WATCH: Call Kurtis Investigates: Microchip Flaw Could Keep You from Getting Pet Back

Search the neighborhood

  • Walk and drive your neighborhood streets several times a day
  • Ask neighbors of they’ve seen your pet
  • Hand out pictures and include your contact info

Ask family and friends to search and call your pet’s name

  • The best time to call for your pet is at night and dawn
  • Listen for your pet to bark, howl or meow

Post flyers at local businesses

  • Include pet picture and your contact info
  • Include pet’s name, breed, age, weight, color, special markings and gender
  • Leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person contacting you to describe it

Post on NextDoor

  • Include pet picture and your contact info
  • Include where the pet was last seen
  • Include pet’s name, breed, age, weight, color, special markings and gender
  • Include all available neighboring towns and communities

Post on social media

  • Include pet picture and your contact info
  • Include where the pet was last seen
  • Include pet’s name, breed, age, weight, color, special markings and gender
  • Post in community groups

Be wary of pet-recovery scams

  • Ask anyone claiming to have found your pet to describe the pet thoroughly
  • Be wary of those asking for money in exchange for your pet

SOURCE: The Humane Society of the United States and petfinder.com