Monday, April 20, 2009

If you lose a pet in or near Montgomery County

(updated 11/13/14)

The animal shelter for Montgomery County, Maryland, is located in Derwood - location and hours are at the bottom of this blog. For information about the shelter, go to found at large in the county should be taken only to that shelter, not to shelters outside the county where the owners may not be able to find them.

After you read these guidelines and notify the shelter, go to on Facebook.

If you lose a pet in Montgomery County, your first step should be filing a lost report with the shelter. Likewise, if you find a pet, you should notify the shelter right away so that the owners can know you have their pet when they call.

In the event that your lost pet has not been taken to - or reported to - the shelter, speed is of the essence as you initiate your search. Here is a list of actions you should take, and some helpful websites you will want to consult:

* If your pet has a Home Again microchip, make an immediate call to them at 1-888-466-3242. They will notify your vet, local clinics and shelters, and local pet rescuers. This takes time, though, so don't delay in following these procedures:

* If you lose a pet in or near Montgomery County, please be sure to file a report with the county shelter right away. Strays from all over the county and beyond are taken to the shelter every day, by Animal Control as well as members of the public. You should visit the shelter as soon as possible, but if you can't go right away, call them at 240-773-5900 to register your lost report. There are generally waits on the telephone line. If you have a photo, bring it with you when you visit the shelter (as soon as you can).

When they process your lost report they will search the found reports already on file (and the animals at the shelter), and contact you if they have a match. Shelter staff will match your lost report with a found report (or a pet at the shelter) if they can, but you, the owner of the pet, will always be better able to recognize your own pet, so try to visit the shelter as often as you can during the business hours listed on their website.

MCASAC holds stray animals for roughly 5 business days and then they are put up for adoption.

* VERY IMPORTANT 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 (or hit ENTER or RETURN on your keyboard), check Montgomery County Animal Services (and Prince Georges County if your pet could have ended up there) and click SEARCH. Then click I LOST MY PET and the species (dog, cat, other - don't click any other choices or you may miss your pet) and then click USE THIS SHELTER LIST and you will see a display of information for all the cats/dogs/others currently at the shelter. **NOTE: Please visit the shelter as soon as possible to look at the animals and make sure your report is in the correct binder. There is often a delay in posting photographs of animals at the shelter. ** .

This is a great way to keep track of what's been taken in. You can also file a report at 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.

* Put your posters up in community gathering-places, and along the road in high-traffic areas in your neighborhood and beyond. Consider obtaining a disposable cell phone so that you don't have to post your personal phone number on your lost posters.

* If you've had no sightings, you should hire a tracker to help you in narrowing down where to search. We recommend Sam with Pure Gold Pet Trackers:

* Notify your neighborhood listserv, if you have one.

* Remember, pets can travel great distances when they are stressed. Be prepared to expand your search:

* 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

* If you don't find your lost pet within a couple of days, start checking all the area shelters. Some list their strays on Pet Harbor, others you will have to call or visit. Just recently, a dog lost in Springfield VA was taken to the shelter in Rockville. Most of the DC-area shelters are listed at: and

*To file and search for other reports online, go to:
Craig's List (you might need to check the pets page too:

On Facebook, start with

 * If you have lost a bird, go to

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).For more ideas, go to
Displaced cat behavior:
Displaced dog behavior:

* If you're serious about searching for your lost pet, gather volunteers, create a Facebook page or start a blog and go public with your search dates, sightings, and progress reports. You will find help, and the odds will improve that you will find your pet.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment