More than 20 percent of the pets that come to the SPCA are lost. Be sure that your pet wears some sort of identification at all times. Refer to our pet licensing section for information on how to get an identification tag for your pet.
If Your Pet Is Lost:
- Check with people in your neighborhood. Talk to your neighbors, mail carriers and newspaper delivery people, anyone who spends time in your neighborhood who might have seen your pet.
- Make a poster. Include a description and photo of your pet. Offer a reward. It doesn't have to be large, but any reward may motivate people to help the search. Decide what you think is a fair amount. Include your telephone number.
- Put your poster up around town. Post it on street corners and in area shops. Many places like libraries and supermarkets have bulletin boards that you can post it on.
- You can post a report on Petfinder.com.
- Complete a Lost Dog Report or Lost Cat Report and submit it to us. You can also come into our adoption center to fill one out. We review all reports and see if they match any found animals that come into our facility. Reports are kept on hand for 30 days. Please note that we do not share our lost and found reports with other agencies. Contacting other shelters will increase your chances of finding your pet.
- Call other local animal shelters to check if they have your animal. If not, ask if you can leave a description along with your telephone number in case your pet turns up there. Even better, go to the shelter and look for your pet.
- Here is a list of the local shelters to check:
Central Maryland Animal Shelters
Anne Arundel County Animal Control
410-222-8900 or fax 410-222-8915
Anne Arundel County SPCA
410-268-4388 or fax 410-268-8027
Baltimore City Animal Control
410-396-4694 or fax 410-396-7332
Baltimore County Animal Control
410-887-5961 or fax 410-817-4257
Baltimore County Humane Society
410-833-8848 or fax 410-833-9251
Carroll County Humane Society
410-848-4810 or fax 410-875-9736
Humane Society of Harford County
410-836-1090 or fax 410-877-3788
Howard County Animal Control
410-313-2780 or fax 410-313-2720
Howard County Animal Welfare
410-465-4350 or fax 410-480-4316
- Use common sense when approaching any unknown animal. He may be hurt. He probably is hungry and frightened and may be unpredictable.
- Be careful about bringing any unfamiliar pet into your home, especially if you already have animals.
- Check the classified section for lost pets. Some newspapers accept lost and found pet ads for free.
- If you can’t hold onto the animal while you search for its owner, call your local Animal Control agency or take the animal to the closest animal shelter.
- If you can hold onto the animal while you search for its owner, please complete a Found Dog Report or Found Cat Report and submit it to us. Please note that we do not share our lost and found reports with other shelters or animal control facilities. Please also contact other area shelters to notify them that you have found an animal.
- Take the animal to a veterinarian or animal shelter to scan for a microchip that contains information that will link the pet to the owner.
- Check the animal's underside for a tattoo. The Maryland SPCA tattoos all pets in our adoption center with a number and keeps a registry linking the number to the pet's owner.
- For more information on what to do if you find a pet, read our helpful lost pet brochure.