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 classifieds (online or newspaper) and check the "Found" classifieds daily.
  • Distribute lost-pet fliers within at least a ten-block radius of your home, and distribute them to people within a three-block radius.
  • Click HERE to view found DOGS currently at our shelter.
  • Click HERE to view found CATS currently at our shelter.
  • Click HERE to view found SMALL animals currently at our shelter.
  • Click HERE to check other local shelters (especially if you live near your town's borders.)

Palo Alto Animal Services holds stray animals for a minimum for 7 days to let their owners find them. Other shelters may not hold stray pets as long, and we encourage you to check local shelters daily. If a pet is wearing ID or have a microchip, we will attempt to contact the owner. In fact, if the Animal Control officers pick up a lost pet with some sort of identification, they will attempt to return the pet to its owner, if their owner is home. Remember, that if you don't keep your address and phone number current on the ID tag, license registration, or microchip company, we might not be able to reach you. 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, you must notify the local animal shelter for your area. The pet's owner might 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 for a microchip at the animal shelter or a veterinarian's office.

If you found an animal in Palo Alto, Los Altos, or Los Altos Hills and you can not keep the animal; you may bring the animal to the shelter, or call 650-329-2413 to have an Animal Control Officer pick up the animal from you (during normal duty hours only.)

If you found an sick/injured wild or domestic animal within Palo Alto, Los Altos, or Los Altos Hills, please call 650-329-2413 24-hours a day.

Last Updated: May 14, 2015