If you have found a pet, you have two options. You may bring it to the shelter. Or you may care for it yourself while you search for the owner. You may also search for the owner first and then, if you are unable to find the owner, bring it to the shelter. Options are described below.
Bring the Pet to our Shelter
- You may drop off stray animals during regular shelter hours.
- In some circumstances, you may be able to arrange to drop off while the shelter is closed. Call during call center hours to inquire.
- Dogs only: Pick-up may be available. Call before 2 pm to arrange same day pick-up.
-Or- Hold on to the Pet and Search for its Owner
If you've found a pet wearing a Multnomah County license tag, you can obtain owner contact information using our License Lookup page. If you can not reach the owner, follow the steps below.
View animals reported lost by their owners. Search lost reports daily until the owner is found.
If the owner is not found after completing steps 1 & 2, you must submit a Found Report. It is very important to attach a photo of the animal. People who have lost pets search found reports everyday.
4. Search other places for the animal's owner.
- Search pets reported lost on Craigslist (check Lost and Found and Pets sections).
- Look through lost pet ads at OregonLive.com, Dove Lewis Lost and Found, Animal Aid, and Willamette Week.
- Look for lost pet signs in your neighborhood.
- Put up found pet fliers in your area.
- Look through the binder of lost pet fliers at the shelter.
- You may bring a found pet flier to place in the found pet binder at the shelter (this does not take the place of a Found Report).
5. Scan the pet for a microchip at our shelter or a vet's office.
Please be aware that there are different types of microchips and only animal shelters are allowed to have universal microchip readers. If a vet does not locate a microchip, it is possible that the animal has a microchip that is not detectable by their reader. You may bring the pet to our shelter and we'll be happy to scan it.
6. If you want to keep the animal, there are certain steps you must legally take.
By law, any person who finds and holds and animal must take certain steps to locate the owner before the finder can claim ownership. If you can't find the owner and you'd like to keep the animal, you can either:
- Perform the required steps outlined in the Multnomah County Ordinance. (You can legally be declared the owner after 180 days and after the steps are completed.) -or-
- You can bring the pet to the shelter and ask to be listed as the first adopter. You will need to do an adoption interview and pay the adoption fee. The hold time for pets without identification is a minimum of three business days. When the hold time is up, if an owner has not come forward, you'll have the first chance at adoption. If you adopt the pet, you will legally become the owner immediately.