What to do if you find a lost pet or stray?

Think first… this could be someone’s pet, and their owner could be frantically searching for him/her!  Even if the pet appears haggard or thin, it may not be an abandoned or stray pet.Pets who have been on their own for a while can look disheveled. We have all heard stories of folks being reunited with their pets after a long period of time.

First, contact your local animal control or shelter authorities to find out what your legal responsibility is. They will also ask you important facts about the pet, in case someone should contact them looking for their pet. Take the pet to your local animal control, animal shelter, or a veterinarian, to scan for a micro-chip.

Create a flyer, being sure to omit a unique identifying mark and/or the sex of the pet.  Post the flyer in stores and businesses in the area where you found the pet — and in surrounding areas.  Post the flyer or an ad in local newspapers, as well.  (“Found” ads are free in some newspapers.)  Also, share on social media, including any lost-and-found-pets social media and websites.  Ask your family and friends to share the pet on their social media.  Be sure to check newspapers to see if anyone has posted an ad for their missing pet.

If someone contacts you and wants to claim the pet, verify they are, in fact, the true owner!  (Note: there are some pets that they can then sell to dog-fighting rings or to research facilities.  Pet flippers are also a problem…they turn around and sell them, thus making a profit.  Many unaltered, purebred pets are also acquired by unscrupulous people solely for great numbers of pets, thinking they are rescuing them.)  Get their contact information, along with the name and phone number of their veterinarian, so you can call and verify that the pet truly is theirs.  Ask them to send you a photo of their pet and include any identifying markings.  (This would be the information you omitted on your flyer!)  If you are still unsure when you meet the person claiming the pet and if you want more proof, ask them to show you the pet’s veterinary records.  And finally, watch to see how the pet responds to the person!

Find a Low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinic

If you would like to spay or neuter your pet to prevent unwanted litters of puppies or kittens, click on the blue button Find A Clinic below to find a facility in your area that offers low-cost surgeries.  An altered pet may find a new home faster… and with so many pets dying in shelters everyday, spaying and neutering is truly life-saving.

Find A Clinic

Need Pet Friendly Housing?

If you need to find pet-friendly housing,  Click Here to go to Zillow.com. Type in your city, click on “Rent”, and scroll down to “Pet-Friendly Rentals.” You will find descriptions and photos of pet-friendly options in any state in the U.S.A., including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

When searching for a rental for you and your pets, consider the following:

  • “Sell” your pet (and yourself!) to a new landlord by suggesting a meet-and- greet with you and your pet. You might also offer to provide references from your pet’s veterinarian and/or from your previous landlord.
  • When you have received approval for your pet from the manager or owner of the property, be sure this is included in your written rental document
  • With any new move, make sure your pet’s ID tags and microchip information are current.