Thank you for taking care of the lost pet you have found. Below is a list of options to assist you in locating the family of the lost pet.
If the animal has identification, contact the owner. Identification comes in many forms, so please check the animal thoroughly for a tag, tattoo or microchip. You can bring an animal to most shelters and veterinary hospitals to scan the animal for a microchip.
If the animal has a NYC dog license, you can trace the tag information by contacting the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) at 212.676.2100. You may also file a report with the DOHMH with their Dog e-Locator.
If the animal has an AC&C microchip or rabies tag, call 311 during normal business hours and you will be transferred to AC&C. You can also send us an e-mail and we will return your message as soon as possible.
Bring the Animal to AC&C. AC&C takes in lost pets and stray animals every day (except holidays) from 8AM-8PM at our Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island shelters (See Hours and Locations). Lost pets are put on hold for 72 hours in order to provide the owners with enough time to go to our Care Centers and find their pets. After 72 hours, the animal gets evaluated and made available for placement. Note: If you are a finder of a lost pet and are interested in adopting the pet after the 72-hour hold, please let the staff know this when you turn in the lost pet.
Please note that all animals that come into our care are scanned for a microchip. If the animal has a current chip or other form of identification, we make every attempt to contact the owner to reunite them with their pet.
Also, AC&C has a database of lost pets on our website, where volunteers work to reunite found pets in our shelter with their owners. Pictures and descriptions of pets that are in the shelter are posted daily on our website for owners to search as well.
Search our Website. Lost Pet reports with pictures and/or descriptions are posted on our website daily. If you see an animal that fits the description of the lost pet you have found, please contact the owner with the information provided on the Lost Pet report.
When searching our Lost Pets database, please select the appropriate Animal Type only and click on "search". Leaving the other fields empty will maximize your search results. If you do not see a match in the animals listed in the Lost Pets database for pets at the Care Center, scroll to the bottom of the database page and click on "Show Pets Lost by the Public", near the bottom of the page. This search will provide you with additional Lost Pets reports made by the public. If you still do not find the lost pet you have found on this database, you may then file a Found Pet report.
Keep the Lost Pet, But File a Found Pet Report. By filing a Found Pet report with AC&C, you must submit your contact information and/or e-mail address for the owner to contact you if a match is made. Your Found Pet report will be placed on a national database maintained by Pet Harbor. It will also be enrolled in a lost and found program made possible by the ASPCA, Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, and AC&C, where volunteers will actively assist in the search for the owners of the pet you have found for up to 6 weeks. Please do not check the box marked "Do NOT share my info with any shelter". This will prevent our volunteers from reaching you should a match be found.
When filing a Found Pet report, keep in mind that many individuals use similar pet descriptions. Please take your time to examine the animal closely and make note of as many details about him or her as possible. The more detailed and accurate the description, the greater the possibility of finding the owner. If possible, please take a picture of the lost pet and upload it to the report.
Special Color Instructions
Based on the color chart listed below, please enter your color choices in the Primary Color and Secondary Color sections of your found report.
After filing this report, you will receive an e-mail confirmation from Pet Harbor and AC&C.
File A Found Pet Report:
Report a Found Cat
Report a Found Dog
Report a Found Other Pet
Other Tips on Locating the Owners of Your Lost Pet
- Post flyers within a 2-mile radius of where you found the pet. Your flyer should include a detailed description of the animal, pictures and your contact information. Post this flyer with permission in as many places around the neighborhood as possible: pet shops, veterinarian and doctors offices, supermarkets, police precincts, bulletin boards, bus stops, taxi services, laundromats, delivery people, schools, etc. If someone responds to your flyer, make sure you see proof of ownership prior to releasing the pet to the person. Do not forget to remove all flyers once the pet is reunited with his or her owner.
- Place an ad in local and state newspapers, as well as in online publications. You may also create a Twitter account and/or Facebook Page.
- Visit the sites listed below to post a report of the lost pet you have found.
- Some lost pet tips from Maddie's Fund.