Saturday, April 25, 2009

If you find a pet and don't know whose it is

**New county procedures require that you dial 911 for any animal emergency. For information about the shelter, go to**

If you find a pet in Montgomery County, please look carefully at any collar and tags. If you can make out the information on ID tags, licenses, or rabies tags, you should be able to trace them to the owner. If you need help with this, feel free to email me.

You can always take it to the shelter in Derwood, or if you need it picked up, call 301-279-8000. If the owners aren't found, there is a very good chance it will be adopted.

For information on finding your lost pet, go to the previous post on this blog:

 If you would like to hold onto the pet until the owners can be found:

First thing you should do if you find a pet anywhere: take it to your vet (or nearest animal shelter) and have it scanned for a microchip. If it has a chip, you can call the registry and find out to whom it is registered. The vet or shelter can tell you how to do this. Staff can also help you describe the pet for your found report, or the shelter can take the pet if you prefer not to hold onto it.

If you have found a cat, double-check at to be sure you are describing it correctly.

If you find a pet in or near Montgomery County, please be sure to file a report with the county shelter (the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center) right away.
For information about the shelter, go to Lost reports from all over the county and beyond are filed with the shelter every day, and the owner of your foundling might be but a phone call away. Call them at 240-773-5900 to register your found report. When they receive your report they will search lost reports already on file, and contact you if they have a match. You can also file a report at

If it is convenient for you, visit the shelter to look at the lost reports. Shelter staff will usually have matched your found report with a lost report if they can, but often you who have seen the pet will be better able to recognize the owner's description.

Search on Facebook and post your report at

If you have found a pet in or near Ann Arundel or PG County, you can file a found report:

in AA County:
Browse lost reports in AA County:

* If you live in or near PG County, go to:
* If you live in or near Howard County, go to: or call 410-313-2780.
* For Carroll County Animal Control - 410-848-4810
* For Frederick County Animal Control - 301-600-1546

If you live in DC or near the DC line, call (202)576-6664 and go to
For other jurisdictions, go to:
To file and search for other reports online, go to:
Craig's List (you might need to check the pets page too:
Post ads online

If you have found a bird, check

Call or send photo posters to all the vets and pet shops in your area and beyond. Also, post plenty of flyers, talk to your mail and paper carriers, and post on a neighborhood listserv (if you have one).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR THOSE WHO LOSE A PET: If you lose a pet, you can follow what's at the shelter on a daily basis by going to:

Type in your zip code, click FIND SHELTERS, check Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center (and PG County if appropriate) and click SEARCH. Then click I LOST MY PET and the species (dog, cat, other) and then click SEARCH NOW and you will see a display of all the cats/dogs/others currently at the shelter.

This is a great way to keep track of what's been taken in. Pets found DOA and those at the vet will not appear, so having a lost report and visiting the shelter every few days is very important. Also, Pet Harbor doesn't display the found location, so if you see something you think is your lost pet, make a note of the A# and call the shelter to find out where it was found.

If you lose a pet in PG County, follow the Pet Harbor directions above, but click on "Prince Georges County Animal Management Division".

For more ideas, go to

Displaced cat behavior:
Displaced dog behavior:

FYI for anyone with a pet, it's always advisable to have your pets microchipped, even those you don't think will ever get loose, so that the shelter can immediately know who owns them should they ever wind up there. If they wear their microchip ID tag, anyone who finds them can also notify the registry and the owners will be called.

(updated 11/13/14)


  1. You can have a dog scanned at any PetSmart with a Banfield's vet clinic inside. (That may be all of them.) Be aware the clinic hours are not store hours, but there is no charge to scan a dog or cat.