Lost & Found Pets
Resources for Lost & Found Pets
All stray or found pets must first go to local county animal services. OHS is only able to accept owner-relinquished animals, per county regulations. We offer the following tips and resources to assist with lost & found pets.
In all cases of stray or missing pets, whether dogs, cats, or small pets such as rabbits, the first place to check is your local county animal services agency. Found a pet? Jump to Found Pets here.
In the Portland area, county agencies include:
SW Washington Humane Society (Vancouver, Wash. area) »
In Multnomah County, all stray dogs must be transported to Multnomah County Animal Services (MCAS) in Troutdale. For other counties in the Portland metro area, see the list above.
At the county shelter, provide a color photograph and description of your lost pet. Visit the agency’s website or shelter every day to check for your pet. More tips and resources below.
Stray and lost cats are held at Multnomah County Animal Services in Troutdale and at Washington County Animal Services in Hillsboro. Visit those agencies depending on where your pet was last seen. Provide a color photograph and description of your lost cat. Visit their website or shelter every day to check for your cat.
Clackamas County currently cannot accept stray/found cats. These cats are transferred to other area shelters, including Cat Adoption Team in Sherwood and the county agencies listed above. More tips below.
Tips and Resources
Take Action to Find Your Pet
Ask family, friends, and neighbors to help you search for your pet as soon as you realize your pet is missing. Be sure to check around your yard and under your deck.
For a lost indoor-only or timid cat, think like a cat and look at every hiding spot possible in your yard and your close neighbors. Lost cats will remain hidden and quiet. Search your house and yard immediately. Lost cats tend to remain hidden and very quiet and a lot of times right around the house.
Walk, bike, drive, or jog through your neighborhood every day and more than once to look for your missing pet.
Place clothing, toys, litter box, and other items familiar to your pet outside in your yard where she/he might smell them.
Put signs around the neighborhood or area where your pet was last seen. Include a photo and description of your pet, your phone number, and when your pet disappeared. Make sure you have voicemail set up to take any messages.
Call your veterinarian. Your pet’s rabies tag number can be traced to your veterinarian.
If your pet is microchipped, contact the microchip company and have them put a “lost or stolen” alert on the pet’s microchip so that if it is scanned by a shelter or veterinarian, they will know that a concerned owner is looking for that pet.
Place “Lost Pet” ads in your local newspapers and websites. These show you’re actively looking for your pet, in case someone else claims it. Check the “Found Pets” ads in your local newspapers every day.
If permitted, post your flyers at businesses in your area. In your flyers and ads, offer a reward, if possible.
Important Tip: For your neighborhood posters and newspaper ads, leave out one identifying feature in your pet’s description, such as a splotch of color on the nose or extra toes. This protects you from pet-recovery scams and is a sure way of verifying that someone definitely found your beloved pet.
- HomeAgain offers a robust lost pet recovery network.
- DoveLewis Lost & Found Pet Database provides listings of stray pets brought to their NW Portland facility and allows community members to post reports of lost/found pets.
- craigslist in Portland (or your area) has an active lost and found section.
- Cats in the Bag provides tips you can use to find your lost cat.
- PETS 911 offers a national lost/found pet database.
- Missing Pet Network
- Missing Pet Partnership
- International K-9 Search & Rescue
- Lost Cat Finder
These links are provided as a resource only. These are outside organizations/companies, not affiliated with nor endorsed by OHS.
Should you find a stray or lost pet, please contact your local animal services agency in order to give the pet the best chance of being reunited with its owner. You can find the animal services agency closest to you by searching online for “animal services” in your area.
If your county jurisdiction does not have facilities for stray cats, contact OHS for additional resources at (503) 285-7722, ext. 211.
What You can Do to Help
- Post a found pet flyer in your neighborhood
- List the pet on found pet sections of websites such as craiglist.org (more listed above), and in your local newspaper
- Have the pet scanned for a microchip at a local veterinary office