Found a stray animal?

Found a lost pet or stray animal? Here's how to help them find their way home.

Check for identification

  • If there's an ID tag, contact the owner immediately.
  • If there is no ID tag, consider taking the animal to a local veterinary office to be scanned for a microchip.

Tell your community about the pet you've found

Bring the animal to AHS

If you're unable to match the stray animal to any lost pet report, you may bring it to any one of our locations. Call our Pet Helpline at 952-HELP-PET (952-435-7738). Our representatives will explain the process and fees, and schedule an admissions appointment.

When you arrive, we’ll scan the animal for a microchip and give the animal an initial evaluation for placement. Stray animals are held for the state-mandated five days to provide owners time to locate lost pets. If an owner doesn't come forward and the animal is a candidate for placement, the animal will become available for adoption or placed in adoption preparation programs.

Feral cats that would not be appropriate or happy in a home environment may be placed in our Community Cats program.

Stray cats

A stray cat who is healthy and friendly likely belongs to someone in your neighborhood. Cats have a far better chance of reuniting with their owner when they're left in the area in which they’re found. Less than five percent of stray cats that are brought into shelters are reclaimed by their owners. For this reason, we encourage you to leave healthy and friendly cats where you discovered them. If there’s a strong reason a healthy stray cannot remain where they are, you may consider bringing the cat into your home.

Other options

You may also consider taking the animal to your local animal control facility. If animal control has closed for the day, please call their after-hours line or your local, non-emergency police number.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline