Found a Pet

Thank you for looking out for the pet you have found! Below is a list of recommended steps to assist you in locating the family of the lost pet.

  • Contact the Owner. If the pet has any visible ID (tags, etc.) contact the owner. Look around the neighborhood and ask people if they have seen anyone searching for a missing pet. The first place owners look for their pet is the community, so it’s important to spread the word as someone may recognize the pet and be able to help you reunite them!
  • Research the Tags. You may use these resources to track down an owner based on the ID tags:
    • Philly Dog License: Can be traced by emailing the ACCT Philly team at
    • Rabies tags will have vet or shelter information on them – contact them with the tag number so they can contact the owner
    • If you have had the pet scanned for a microchip at a vet office, you can search the number on to locate the phone number of the company that the chip is registered with. We’re happy to help with microchip follow up as well.
  • Keep the Lost Pet but File a Found Pet Report. By filing a Found Pet report with ACCT, you must submit your contact information and email address so that the owner may contact you if a match is made. Please keep in mind that you are required to hold the animal for the hold period which we can advise you on depending on if they have a microchip or not, and give them back to the owner if an owner comes forward during that time frame. Additionally, don’t jump to conclusions about a pet’s owner based on the pet’s condition. Sometimes pets may have injuries or look matted and uncared for after having been out for a while, and it isn’t necessarily reflective of the care they received.You may file a found pet report by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.
  • Bring the animal to ACCT! This should be your last resort if you are unable to contact the owner yourself. The shelter is extremely full, and all animals are at risk of euthanasia after their stray hold is up. Dogs are held for 48 hours before they can potentially go to an adopter or rescue, and for 10 days if they are microchipped. It is much better for the found animal to serve that stray hold in your home if possible! There is no legally required stray hold for cats, although we will do our best to reach out to a potential owner if the cat is microchipped. If you are the finder of a lost pet and are interested in adopting the pet after the stray hold, please let the staff know at the time you are turning in the lost pet.

Find a dog? If you found a dog who is healthy and friendly, it would be ideal if you could foster during their stray period! This helps create space at the shelter for the animals in urgent need. Stop by the shelter and file a found report, and allow us to scan the dog for a microchip. If you need it, we can also help with basic supplies depending on donation. Stop by and let us know that you found a pet but are willing to foster them temporarily.

While the animal is in your home, you should check the websites shared above and post signs with your contact information in the area where you found the animal. Lastly, be sure to add information on the found pet to ACCT Philly’s Lost and Found Pets page on Facebook, be sure to include a photo!

Find a cat? A special note about outdoor cats: Cats are allowed outdoors in the city of Philadelphia. If you have found a cat, you might have found someone’s pet who has either been let out or escaped the house. Free roaming cats brought to ACCT Philly who are deemed healthy will be verified as sterilized, vaccinated and released back to their home territory so that they may return home in accordance with our Community Cats Program that is reducing the population of free roaming cats in Philadelphia through targeted sterilization. 

Cats are more likely to find their own way home than be reclaimed at the shelter: Be aware that cats are more likely to find their own way home than to be reunited by any other method. Bringing a cat to the shelter, unless that cat is in need of medical care, is the least likely way for that cat to get home. The best thing you can do for a healthy, adult cat who is not in imminent danger is allow him or her to find their way home and only intervene if you are concerned for the cat’s safety.

Found Pet Report Form

    Your Information

    Found Pet Information

    Gender *

    Pet Identification

    Is the pet wearing a collar? *

    Is the pet microchipped? *

    Found Report Details

    Do we have your permission to share your name, phone number and email address with a possible owner whose lost report might be a match for the animal you found? *