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Pet Lost & Found Resources

Losing your pet can be a frightening experience, but many lost animals do make it home again — especially when people work together.

If You've Lost a Pet…

If you've lost a dog, cat, or other pet in New York City, file a Lost Pet Report on the Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) website, and search their Found Pet database. You can also text LOSTPETNYC to 56525 and immediately you will begin receiving text messages that will recommend step-by-step actions that can greatly increase the chances of finding your lost pet. Visit all three ACC Care Centers and look for your pet. Bring along a photo of you with your pet and any other proof of ownership you have, such as your pet's medical records.

Other things you should do:

Inform veterinary offices and other pet-related businesses in your area.

Post "lost pet" flyers, featuring a photo of your pet and your phone number, throughout the neighborhood where your pet was lost, at veterinary offices, pet supply stores, and other local businesses. Be sure to get permission before posting flyers on private property.

Post "lost pet" notices on your social media accounts, general neighborhood and lost pet Facebook groups, and other location-based online communities, such as Nextdoor or Craigslist. Be sure to include a photo and description of your pet, and your contact information. Creating a single shareable online poster image that includes all important information makes it easy for others to help you spread the word. You can also use social media and other local online communities to search for "found pet" notices that may be a match. As always when networking online, be alert for danger and potential scams.

Post your pet on lost and found pet apps and websites, such as PetAmberAlert, PawBoost, MyLostPetAlert, Shadow, and Finding Rover. There are many free and fee-based pet lost and found apps and websites available, all with different services and pricing, so read the fine print before you begin.

If You've Found a Pet…

If you've found a dog, cat, or other pet in New York City, we hope you will care for the animal until his or her owner has been located.

To locate the owner:

Check for ID tags, dog license, or other forms of identification.

Take the dog or cat to a vet's office or shelter and ask them to scan for a microchip. If the pet is microchipped, contact the microchip company, which will locate the pet's owner.

Visit ACC's Found a Stray Dog? or Found a Stray Cat? web pages to learn what steps you should take.

Visit the ACC website to file an online found pet report or search their lost pet database.

Post "found pet" flyers, featuring a photo of the pet and your phone number, throughout your neighborhood, at veterinary offices, pet supply stores, and other businesses. Be sure to get permission before posting flyers on private property. Withhold a distinctive piece of information about the pet (unique markings, eye color, etc.) to screen bogus calls claiming to be the pet's owner.

Post "found pet" notices on your social media accounts, general neighborhood and lost pet Facebook groups, and other location-based online communities, such as Nextdoor or Craigslist. Be sure to include a photo and description of the animal, and your contact information. Creating a single shareable online poster image that includes all important information makes it easy for others to help you spread the word. Withhold a distinctive piece of information about the pet (unique markings, eye color, etc.) to screen bogus calls claiming to be the pet's owner. You can also use social media and other local online communities to search for "lost pet" notices that may be a match. As always when networking online, be alert for danger and potential scams.

Check lost and found pet apps and websites, such as PetAmberAlert, PawBoost, MyLostPetAlert, Shadow, and Finding Rover, to see if the pet you found has been listed as lost. If the pet is not listed as lost, you should list the pet as found. There are many free and fee-based pet lost and found apps and websites available, all with different services and pricing, so read the fine print before you begin.

If you cannot locate the pet's owner and are prepared to take on the responsibility, we hope you'll consider keeping the pet as part of your family.

If you cannot keep the pet yourself, then contact a local rescue group or shelter to see if they have room in their adoption program for the animal. These groups will only take in animals that they can accommodate.

If you cannot care for the animal until you can locate his or her owner, you can bring the animal to the nearest Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) shelter. Learn more about turning in a stray.

Prevention

Now more than ever it's important to microchip your dogs and cats…and license your dogs.

Microchip Your Pet

Having your pet microchipped is one of the best ways to increase your pet's chances of getting home if he or she is lost or stolen and winds up at an animal shelter or veterinary office. Unlike dog tags and collars, which can fall off or be removed, microchipping is a more permanent form of identifying your dog or cat.

License Your Dog

New York City law requires that you license your dog, and update the license each year. When you license your dog, however, you're doing something more than simply complying with the law. You're giving your dog a ticket home in the event that she or he becomes lost.