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Found Pets

If you have found a lost or homeless pet, the first thing you should do is to check the pet’s collar to see if there is an identification tag. If there is an identification tag, call the pet’s owner to reunite them with their family.

If the pet that you’ve found does not have an identification tag, take the pet to your nearest veterinary clinic. The veterinary clinic will have a microchip scanner that they can use to check for a microchip. Microchips are a form of permanent identification that can help reunite lost pets with their families. They will scan the pet that you’ve found for free.

If you have found a lost or homeless pet, the most important thing to do is to call the local animal control office that serves the area where you found the pet. Animal control may have already received a report of a lost pet in your area that could match the pet that you found. Find out which animal control office to contact here.

Speak to neighbors and community members in the area where you found the pet. Most pets don’t make it far from home, and there is probably a concerned family searching for them. Hang flyers of the found pet in the neighborhood.

Report the pet that you have found on Petco Love Lost. This is a national lost and found database where owners can search for pets that they have lost.

Post pictures of the pet that you found on Facebook and Nextdoor. There are many local Facebook groups designed to reunite lost pets with their families. When you search “lost and found” under Facebook groups, you will see many groups to join and post pictures of the pet that you’ve found. “Lost and Found Pets in South Jersey” is one of the biggest local groups.

Call the animal shelter that serves the area where you found the pet. This may be Homeward Bound or it may not be—depending upon where you found the pet. Find out which animal shelter to contact here. If you can keep the animal that you found while you search for an owner, this is usually better for the pet than coming to the shelter. As long as you’ve reported the animal to the appropriate animal control office and utilized the methods above to attempt to find their family, the animal can be adopted after being held for the 7 day stray hold.

If the animal that you have found is a cat, especially a friendly one in good body condition, you should consider leaving the cat alone. Owners are permitted to let their cats outdoors, and many families do have cats that are both indoor and outdoor. Cats are also incredibly good at finding their own way home. In fact, cats are 10 times more likely to find their own way home if we leave them alone instead of bringing them to the shelter. Cats brought to the shelter are very unlikely to be reclaimed—most shelters have a reclaim rate for cats of 2% or less.

Green Eyed Cat
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