Lost and Found

Recovering a Lost Animal

Act quickly if your pet is lost!  Try the following:

  • Check area shelters frequently and in person.
  • Fill out a lost-animal profile for the shelter (A good photo is a big help!).
  • Advertise in the "Lost" column of the newspaper, and check the "Found" column daily.
  • Distribute lost-pet notices within at least a ten-block radius of your home, and distribute them to people within a three-block radius.

You can also click on this LINK to look at a listing of found pets at ours and other shelters in the area. Use the back button on your browser to return to this page. Note: This will take you to a site outside of the City Of Palo Alto's domain (PetHarbor.com), which provides this service to us.

If a pet wearing ID or a license tag arrives at the shelter as a stray, we will attempt to contact the owner. In fact, if the Animal Control officers pick up a lost pet wearing license tags, they will attempt to return the pet to its owner, if the owner is home. Remember, however, that if you don't keep your address and phone number current on the ID tag or license form, we might not be able to reach you. Be sure to keep this information up to date! A rabies tag is not a reliable way to track a pet's owner, so please don't rely on it. See Licensing and identification.

Reporting a Found Animal

If you find a pet and are keeping it at your home while you try to find its owner, please notify all the local shelters. The pet's owner might well be searching for it there. Write out a complete description of the found animal before you contact the shelters; this helps ensure you won't forget any important details while filing your report. We can often reunite lost pets with their owners by matching a Lost Report with a Found Report.

Please also have the animal scanned at a shelter or veterinarian's office; it might be wearing a microchip ID implant that would identify its owner. 

Last Updated: May 22, 2014