What happens to a stray pet at the shelter?

What happens to a stray pet at the shelter?



When someone finds a lost pet and brings it to the Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter, they often ask what will happen to the animal.

At our shelter, helping lost pets make it back home is a top priority! When an animal is brought to us, the first thing we do is scan the cat or dog for a microchip and ask when and where the animal was found. Next, our staff has the finder fill out an intake form which includes an opportunity to express interest in adopting the pet if no owner comes forward.

Within minutes of arrival, a brief intake exam is performed on the animal to check for any injuries or medical concerns, and dogs and cats may be given basic vaccinations. At this time, our staff also takes a photo of the animal and posts it on our website within an hour.

While the animal is safe and cared for at the shelter, our team takes steps to try to reunite the pet with its family. This may include monitoring lost animal reports and social media posts, checking for matching animals in our database, and following leads provided by microchips, dog licenses, and other identification found on the animal.

If no owner comes forward within the legally required hold time, our staff moves forward with additional medical and behavioral assessments. Humane euthanasia is only considered if the animal is a danger to the public or if it is suffering from an illness, injury or condition that can’t be treated or managed. The vast majority of animals move on to be spayed or neutered if they aren’t already. From there, the pet may be adopted by their finder or transferred to one of our shelter or rescue partners for eventual adoption. These partner organizations sometimes also provide additional medical care or behavior modification before the pets move on to their new homes.


Find more information on this topic and more, please visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com.

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