Have you seen my human? How to help a lost pet get back home

Have you seen my human? How to help a lost pet get back home


If you find a lost pet, there are steps you can take to help it get back home. Please assume the animal has an owner who is looking for it, and do the following to increase the chances of a happy reunion:

  • Check for identification, such as a collar with tags. If a dog is wearing a Washington County dog license, you can use the dog license lookup tool on our website to find the owner’s phone#.
  • Have the pet scanned for a microchip, which offers a permanent form of identification. We can do this at our shelter, and most veterinary offices provide this service as well.
  • Check lost and found groups on Nextdoor and Facebook for reports of missing pets in your area, as well as to share that you’ve found an animal.
  • Ask neighbors in person, by phone, text or email if they’ve seen anything. Home could be just a block away!
  • File a report in the county where the animal was found. We offer this service for Washington County on our website, over the phone and in person. Our staff will crosscheck reports filed by owners who are missing pets. We will also help you determine what steps to take next. We can discuss the process of bringing the animal to the shelter where we will do everything we can to facilitate a reunion. We can also discuss the legal steps required if you want to keep the animal in your home for more than a day or two while searching for the owner. Pets aren’t just an important part of the family; they are also considered legal property.

Thank you for doing everything you can to help a lost animal find its way back home!


Not sure what to do or worried because the lost pet is sick, injured or in a dangerous situation? Give us a call at 503-846-7041 during our regular business hours of Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call Washington County’s non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111 after hours.

For more information, please visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com.

The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located at 1901 SE 24th Ave, Hillsboro. If you have a question for the animal shelter, email Stacy_Beckley@washingtoncountyor.gov