Checklist for Found Pets

Author:Pet FBI
Author's Website:
Published: Mon Nov 10 2014
Last Updated: Sat Jan 27 2024

Lost and Found Pets

Have you found a pet? First, thank you for caring enough to try to help a lost pet get back home.Please use this checklist as a guide to make sure you have covered all the steps important for tracing the owner of the stray you have found.

Checklist for found pets:

What if I follow all the steps above but I cannot find the owner and/or I cannot keep the pet?

For many people it is hard to turn a stray into a shelter for fear that it will not be held and will have to be put down. But the shelter is probably the first place the owner would look, so you should at least be sure your local shelters have a written record of the pet you have found. Most states have laws requiring that dogs be held for a minimum period, usually only a few days. We are not aware of any states that protect cats in this way. So in the case of cats, hold on as long as you can and try to locate the owner. Many shelters do not euthanize as a matter of policy.

If you call around a bit using Petfinder's animal shelter search toolyou may be able to identify one near you. You could also try to find a good home on your own, but you must be wary. Please visit for tips on finding a GOOD new home for a pet. There is also a web site that will allow you to post a pet available for adoption:

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