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What To Do If You Lose (or Find) a Dog or Cat

In Madera County if a dog or cat has been found, the animal must be reported to Animal Control and cannot be given to anyone else until 30-days has passed FROM the time the found report was placed. It is considered the property of the owner in the meantime.

Everyone who has lost or found a dog or cat needs to contact Animal Control (AC) 559-675-7891 (Madera County) to create a report.The found dog or cat does NOT have to be turned in to AC. You may provide foster care and keep the animal safely sheltered at your home while efforts are made to locate the owner. The dog or cat cannot be spayed or neutered during this 30-day period but can have any required medical work needed for injuries or illness.

If you have lost an animal, you can ask AC to check their lost reports for any descriptions that may match. It is however to your benefit to go to AC in person to look at the animals because the description in the lost reports may not match the description you provide of your animal.

It is critical if you lost a cat or dog that you file a report and visit Animal Control. AC in California used to have to hold animals 3-days; now if they are out of room the dog or cat can be killed in less than three. The only thing that will “buy” the animal more time is a microchip. Your local veterinarian can insert a microchip quickly as can many of the animal rescue groups. This of course doesn’t work if the dog or cat is already lost.

Next, whether you lost or found an animal, place an ad in the local newspaper(s). Lost and found ads are free in most areas. Additionally, you should contact any local rescue groups; often people that find an animal or lose an animal call them instead of, or in addition to, Animal Control. Local rescue groups often have access to a larger group of people and are actively using social media and networking to share information about animals that are looking to be reunited with their family. Utilizing local electronic and print media can get your information out to a broader audience.

It is also advantageous to place flyers in public locations around the area where you found the animal.

Recently we were in contact with a woman that lost a dog. She had not been advised to contact Animal Control by anyone but had put up a significant number of flyers. It’s unfortunate but if AC picked up this particular dog it may have been euthanized by now. What a tragedy if he has been killed.

If you have lost or found an animal:

  • Call and make a report with Animal Control.
  • Call your local animal rescue group(s).
  • Place a FREE ad in local paper(s).
  • Use your social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) to let locals know (and ask them to share the info).
  • Create and place flyers in public areas.

AND – Before your pet is lost – get it micro-chipped at your local veterinarian’s office or call your local rescue group.

Please contact Kellen Rescue with any questions (209) 742-4294

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