What to Do When You Find A Stray Pet

5 easy steps to follow to help reunite a lost pet with their family!

Even the most careful pet owner/guardian may find at some point that their pet has escaped or slipped out of sight. If you find a loose animal, we encourage you to take the following five steps to help reunify them with their family:


If you can safely capture them and they have a tag, call the number immediately. Someone maybe not even realize their pet slipped out of the house or they might be out frantically trying to find them.

If there is no ID tag they might be microchipped. Call your local shelter or veterinary hospital to see if you can come by with the pet to scan for a chip.


File a “Found Pet” report at your local animal shelter. Many public shelters are full and may not be able to accommodate a found pet, but they will take down a description of the animal and your contact information in case someone calls looking for a lost pet.


Take a photo of the animal and post on NextDoor ​and/or if you are a member of your local Facebook Community Info page, post there with the street and nearest cross-street where the pet was located. Most of the time the animal lives within a few blocks of where they were found.


Post “Found Pet” flyers around the area where the pet was found. This website has templates that you can use.


Keep the pet safe for now – but use caution since you do not know everything about the pet’s behavior. If you already have pets at home, make sure they are fully vaccinated before introducing another animal into your home.

Keep the found pet in a separate space for its safety and for everyone in your household.

If you cannot accommodate the animal safely due to space or other limitations, ask a friend or family member who may have a different set-up in their home to watch them for you.

If there are any signs the animal may be aggressive, dangerous or pose a threat to any person or another animal call animal control immediately.

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