Found Stray Pets?
San Diego Humane Society is admitting stray pets at El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside and San Diego campus locations. Please check our Hours and Locations page for more information. If you have found an outdoor cat, please click here for information about how to determine whether the cat should be brought to a shelter.
If you find a stray animal after hours and are able to keep the animal overnight, please do so. If you are unable to safely care for the animal overnight, call 619-299-7012, press 1 for next steps.
These tips can help you reunite the animal with their family!
If you are in a position to keep the animal in your home while searching for their family, please review the tips below to help guide your search:
- Check for an ID tag.
See if the animal is wearing a collar with identifying information.
- Ask your neighbors.
Eighty percent of lost pets are found within one mile of their home. Ask your neighbors or people in the area if they recognize the animal or know the owner.
- Search our database.
Search for animals who have been reported as lost or missing to San Diego Humane Society.
- Hold the pet for a few hours.
If you can, keep the animal in your care while you see if you’re able to locate the owner in your neighborhood rather than bringing them into the shelter. If you found a stray dog, these tips can help you safely introduce them to your resident dogs. If you have cats or small pets at home, it’s best to keep them separated from the stray dog.
- Check the chip!
If the pet is not wearing an ID tag, you can take them to your local veterinary office or shelter to have them scanned for a microchip.
- Create a Found Pet flyer.
Use this template to create a flyer and post it at local coffee shops, dog parks, pet stores, veterinary offices and other businesses.
- Use online resources.
Post about found pets on Facebook groups, Nextdoor using these tips:
- Post photos and a description of the pet to community Facebook groups in your area.
- Nextdoor is a critical resource for reuniting pets with their families. Tips for posting lost pets on Nextdoor can be found here. Be sure to include a photo and description of the pet.
- Post a found report and photo on the Lost & Found section of craigslist.com.
- File a Found Pet Report with SDHS.
If you’re not able to find the pet’s owner on your own, contact San Diego Humane Society and other local shelters in surrounding cities by phone or e-mail to provide a Found Pet report.
- Consider fostering.
You can help keep animals out of shelters by fostering* the pet until we locate the owner.
*If the owner is not located and you are interested in adopting the pet, San Diego Humane Society will be happy to help you complete the adoption once the legally required stray holding period ends. If an owner does not come forward and the pet is a candidate for adoption, he or she will become available through SDHS or transferred to a rescue partner organization.
San Diego Humane Society
Includes information such as the pet’s age, weight, breed, color, overall description and location found. Please include a photo of the found pet. The information and photo will help us cross-reference our Lost Pets database. Call 619-299-7012 | Email us at [email protected]