If You Find a Lost Pet
If you've found a lost pet, here's what to do.
Be safe, be smart. If you don't know the pet, don't approach it. Chances are it will find its way home.
WHN Tip: If the animal has injuries, stay away! It may bite or scratch you because of fear or pain.
Call the local shelter or animal control center and tell them:
- Where you last saw the pet (nearest intersection)
- Its breed and other noticeable characteristics
- If it's injured or acting "funny"
WHN Tip: It's the Law
In some jurisdictions, the law requires you to file a report with your local animal control agency, so information about the pet you found is available for his owners.
Locating the Owner
If you decide you want to help find the pet's owner, try these tactics:
Check the collar for a license issued by the city or county's animal control agency or an ID tag with a phone number and make the call.
Ask your neighbors, mail carriers, garbage collectors and other delivery people in your neighborhood if they know the pet's owner.
Ask a local vet if he'll scan the pet for a microchip, free of charge. The chip contains electronic data about the pet's owner and contact details.
Check the "Lost Pet" ads in local newspapers (current and week old) and online.
Watch for "Lost Pet" flyers in your neighborhood.
Consider putting a "Found Pet" ad in your local newspaper, publications and online or hang flyers. Include:
- A photo of the found pet
- Breed of animal
- Weight, size
- Color of fur and eyes
- Male or female
- Type and color of collar
- Tag or tattoo I.D. numbers (Tattoos are often found inside the ear, or on the inner legs.)
- Marks, scars, spots
WHN Tip: Use bright colors and big lettering on the flyers to attract attention and hang them in the area where you found the pet, high enough to be seen by drivers.
Returning the Pet
If the owner calls, first verify ownership. Ask the caller's name and the name and telephone number of the animal's veterinarian. Call the vet verify the caller's information before turning over the animal.
If you no longer have possession of the pet, tell the owner where the pet is currently located and when you handed the pet over to that organization or authority.
If you do have the pet, take a friend or relative with you and the pet to meet the owner in a public place such as a church or store parking lot during the day.
PetsAdopting a Pet