What to do if you FIND a pet:
If the cat or dog is not wearing a collar with identification, it’s possible it may have a microchip. Since you cannot see or feel a microchip, you’ll need to take the pet to a veterinary hospital or shelter to be scanned. You can find a list of local veterinary hospitals at www.webvet.com/main/vetfinder.
You can call or take the pet to a local shelter or rescue organization. Once the animal is at the shelter, it will be held for the state-mandated time period while making attempts to find the owner. Some cat owners may not think to look at a shelter or rescue organization for their kitty, so If you found a cat and think it might live in the neighborhood, it is recommended you make every effort to find the owner if you can.
If you decide to hold onto the animal, please make every effort to try to find its owner. Legally you are not able to give the animal away until you’ve tried to find the owner for at least 30 days. Listed below are some things you can do to locate the owner:
- Go door-to-door in the immediate area you found the pet to see if you can locate the owner or someone who knows who the cat or dog belongs to.
- Create posters and flyers that contain a description and photograph of the pet as well as your contact information. Click here for a template you can use to make your own flyer (see completed example at the top of this page)
- Consider using bright colored poster board or paper so your notice stands out. Place in a sheet protector.
- Hand out to neighbors
- Post in the neighborhood, traffic intersections and other public places (coffee shops, grocery stores, post office, etc.).
- Post in veterinary hospitals, pet-supply stores, groomers, local dog parks.
- Post a photo and your contact information on your own social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and those social media pages that are dedicated to reuniting pets with their owners (see list and links below). Nextdoor.com is also a good place within your immediate neighborhood to post about the pet you found. Ask people to “share” (not just “like”) your post so it reaches more people.
- Post on pet recovery websites (TheCenterforLostPets.com, FidoFinder.com, PetFBI.org, ASPCA mobile app) as well as
- Check the twitter feed the local county shelter (Ventura County Animal Services) to see all of the strays that have been brought in. https://twitter.com/VCLostPets
- Check the “lost pets” sections of local newspapers and Craigslist daily.
- Put a “found pet” ad in local newspapers. Include a description of the animal, the location you found it and your contact information. Consider doing the same on Craigslist. When the owner contacts you, ask the person to describe it so you can make sure it actually belongs to them.
Local Facebook pages:
Other websites to check for lost and found pets and general info:
Finding Rover Registering a pet you found using this free smartphone app uses facial recognition software to help match your pet’s face to a database seen by thousands of users. The Ventura County shelter system partners with Finding Rover and already has many scanned faces in their database. All you need is a picture of your pet’s face.