Lost & Found

What To Do When Your Loved One Gets Lost

If You've Lost a Pet

  1. First, please complete a Lost Report . Reports can also be filled out at the shelter.
  2. We encourage you to come to the shelter and ask to personally see the dogs or cats brought in as “strays.” This is particularly important if your pet is a mixed or common breed because descriptions can vary widely.
  3. Start by canvassing your neighborhood, especially neighbors living closet to you.  Most lost pets end up being brought to us by Good Samaritans who live very close to the pet’s owner.
  4. If you’ve lost your cat, focus your search around your home and houses next to yours. Frightened cats look for small nooks and crannies to hide in, so checking under decks and porches and inside bushes is a good place to begin your search.
  5. If your pet is microchipped, contact the microchip company to see if someone has called in your pet’s information. If your contact information is out-of-date, a shelter or vet might be trying to find you.
  6. Check websites such as IndyLostPetAlert and post on social media like Facebook and NextDoor groups
  7. Contact your local Animal Control/law enforcement agency at their non-emergency line.
  8. Post your pet’s photo at all major intersections, nearby markets, pet supply stores, or any place where someone who might be sheltering your pet would go for supplies.
  9. Advertise at all nearby veterinary clinics. If your pet has been injured, a “Good Samaritan” might bring him or her to the nearest vet for treatment.
  10. Place an advertisement in the paper. Include a picture.

If You've Found a Stray

  1. Check with neighbors to see if their pet is missing. Knocking on a few doors often is the quickest route to a happy reunion.
  2. Check for tags or identification.
  3. If the animal has no ID, take it to a local veterinarian or bring it to HSHC to be scanned for a microchip.
  4. Always report a found pet to HSHC and other area shelters. Filing a Found Report helps us match a Lost Report, if one exists. Found Reports can also be completed at the shelter.
  5. Under no circumstances should you simply keep a found pet without doing all of these things first.

How Do I Reclaim My Pet?

If your pet has made his or her way to HSHC, you will need to come in to reclaim your pet during our administrative and/or adoption hours.  You must provide ID and proof ownership (e.g., vet records, proof of adoption/purchase, photos, obvious recognition upon sight of the pet, etc.)  

Please note there is a minimum $45 Return to Owner Fee to reimburse HSHC for the following required services and the cost of care during your pet’s stay with us:

*Hamilton County’s ordinance requires that all strays brought to HSHC be microchipped. So if your pet does not have a microchip, HSHC will automatically microchip your pet and register the microchip on your behalf with 24 Hour Pet Watch.

*Strays are also vaccinated after 24-48 hours for their safety and the other animals in our care. 

*Cost of daily care and owner identification efforts. Our team goes to extensive lengths to match lost pets with their owners up to and including: Searching social media and Craig’s List for matches, contacting microchip companies to track down owner contact info or where the animal was purchased/adopted, tracking down serial numbers on invisible fence collars to identify corresponding owner, and more.

*Each day after the first 24 hours a pet waits to be reunited with its owner is an additional $15/day boarding fee.

Please note that after 7 days (starting with the date of arrival), strays that have not yet been reclaimed by their owners legally become the property of the Humane Society for Hamilton County and will be placed up for adoption.

Stray Cats

Stray Dogs

Love & Let Live

Every animal deserves a second chance at love — and life. We invite you to be part of the solution and give back to the animals who give us so much.