Q&A with the Animal Shelter: I found a lost dog… what should I do?

Q&A with the Animal Shelter: I found a lost dog… what should I do?

Each month, you will have the chance to have your questions answered by the animal shelter.

What should I do if I find a lost dog or cat?

Helping lost pets make it back home is an important part of our work at the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter, but we need your help!

If you find a dog or cat, please assume it has an owner who is looking for it. Here is what you can do to help reunite the animal with its family.

Check the animal for identification, such as a collar with tags. Dogs and cats should be 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 social media (including Nextdoor) for reports of missing pets in your area and share that you’ve found an animal. Ask neighbors in person, by phone, text or email if they recognize the animal. Maybe home is 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 check reports filed by those who are missing a pet, scan for a microchip, and explain the process of bringing the animal to our shelter or 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.

If you can’t locate an animal’s owner quickly, contact us regarding bringing the animal to the shelter where we can make sure all possible options are explored to help them get home quickly! Stray dogs can be brought into the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter during normal business hours without an appointment or you can call us for pick up. Healthy stray cats are currently only accepted by appointment and pick up is not available, but our staff can support you with information regarding trying to find the animal’s family.

For more information on these topics and more, please visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com. The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located in downtown Hillsboro at 1901 SE 24th Ave. Email your questions to: Stacy_Beckley@co.washington.or.us