Lost and Found
There is nothing more frightening to a pet owner than losing a four-legged family member. Washington County Animal Services & Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter can be your best hope for reuniting with your pet. In fact, last year we helped more than 1200 owners find their lost pets.
IF YOU HAVE LOST A PET:
- If your pet is wearing a license and we have your current phone number, we will call you right away. We scan all pets for microchips and will contact you right away if your pet is microchipped. We will call if you have identification on your pet’s collar.
- Check regularly for your lost pet. You should check back at area shelters at least every three days.
- You can now look at pictures of the stray animals we have online! In conjunction with PetHarbor.com, you can see the animals that were brought to the shelter or picked up by our officers as being lost.
- Viewing the lost pets will take you to the shelter's PetHarbor search page. For best results, just click on dogs or cats -- DON'T try to describe your pet too much. You may inadvertently screen out your dog or cat by giving an age that is different than our estimate, listing colors that we didn't input into the computer, etc. Clicking on the "search now" button will take you to the pictures of the animals.
- If you do not see your pet, you should fill out a lost report. While looking at pictures of the animals, scroll down towards the bottom of the page until you see the "special searches" area. There you will see a link where you can "register your lost pet". After you fill out your report, it is still your responsibility to check our website and other shelters for your pet.
- If you see a pet that you think is yours, you must come down to the shelter to positively identify the animal. We will not answer questions about a particular stray animal over the phone. Please bring proof of ownership like pictures or vet records, and also bring picture ID. You must reclaim your animal within the timeframe listed below.
- We hold stray dogs that aren’t wearing a license tag for 3 days. We hold dogs wearing a current license tag for 7 days. If an owner does not claim the animal by the end of the 3 or 7 days, we will try to find a new home for the pet.
- The fee for reclaiming your lost dog for the first time is $10 for licensed dogs and $54 for unlicensed dogs. If your dog is not licensed, you will also be required to buy a license. The fee for reclaiming your lost dog increases to $106 for the second time and $160 for the third. Dog license fees vary and are dependent upon whether or not the dog is fixed and how long you license your dog for.
- We hold stray cats for 2 days. If an owner does not claim the cat by the end of the 2 days, we will try to find a new home for the cat.
- The fee for reclaiming your lost cat for the first time is $19, for the second time is $41, and for the third time is $62. We charge these fees so that we can continue to help people and their pets reunite.
IF YOU HAVE FOUND A LOST ANIMAL:
Please be a good Samaritan and help out a lost animal. Give that animal the same kindness that you’d hope someone would give your pet if it were lost.
- If you call the Animal Shelter about a stray dog, we will pick the animal up if we can. (Emergencies such as an animal in immediate danger or an animal that is attacking someone take priority over picking up dogs that are loose.)
- If you find a licensed dog, you can look up the dog's license through our PetHarbor search page or call Animal Services. You will get the owner's first name and telephone number so you can contact the dog’s owner.
- We do not pick up stray cats. If you would like to turn in a stray cat to the shelter, you need to bring it to us. Please be advised that there is a $10 fee for bringing in a cat.
- If you bring a lost, unlicensed dog to the shelter, we will keep the animal safely for a minimum of 3 days. If you bring a lost dog wearing a current license tag, we will keep the animal safely for a minimum of 7 days. We will try to reunite the animal with its owner. After the 3 or 7 days, we will try to find a home for the stray dog if an owner doesn’t reclaim the dog.
- If you bring in a stray cat, we will hold it safely for 2 days. If an owner does not claim the cat by the end of the 2 days, we will try to find a new home for the cat.
- If you are keeping the animal at your home while you look for an owner, you can look at animals people have lost and listed on PetHarbor.com. If you don't see a match, make sure you fill out a found report online. You can fill out the found form and even upload a picture. Please fill out as much information as you can. If there is a possible match, you will get an e-mail with information to help you reunite the pet with its owner. You can fill out the form if you have:
If you live in rental property or in a mobile home park:
If you live in an apartment complex or a mobile/manufactured home park of 5 units or more, animals must be brought in by the property manager or property owner, or we must have a letter on letterhead from the property manager giving the tenant permission to bring the animal into the shelter. We do this because the common areas in your complex are owned by the landlord – and it's not unusual for someone's loved, cared-for pet to be wandering in the complex. For example, we've had many cases of beloved cats that were happily strolling in their own "yards" brought into the shelter by well-meaning neighbors who didn't know the cat belonged to another tenant. The people who brought these cats to our shelter unintentionally put the animals and their owners through a lot of trauma. If you see an animal in your apartment complex or mobile home park that you believe is homeless, speak with your property manager. We will be happy to work with the manager to be sure the animal is cared for if there is no owner in the complex.