Lost and Found Pets
We want the best possible outcome for lost or found animals, but we are not the first step in the recovery process. Instead of contacting us about strays (including injured ones), call our partner, the San Francisco Department of Animal Care & Control.
If you find an animal:
- Take the animal to the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control located at 1200 15th Street (at Harrison), San Francisco, CA 94103. This shelter is the central location for lost/found animals in San Francisco. If you are interested in adopting an animal that is not reclaimed, you can place a CIP (Call Interested Party) hold on the animal.
- If you are unable to transport the animal or if the animal is sick or injured, call Animal Care & Control and an officer can provide assistance. 415.554.6364.
- If you see or feed feral or free-roaming cats in your neighborhood, consult the Community Cats section of our website.
- If you find kittens in your neighborhood, read our Returns & Surrenders guidelines.
If your animal companion is missing:
- File a Lost Pet Report with the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control: 1200 15th Street (at Harrison), San Francisco, CA 94103, 415.554.6364.
- You know your pet best. We strongly recommend that you visit Animal Care & Control to personally view the animals in the kennels. Under State law, stray animals are held for four days, not counting the day of arrival or holidays. Plan on visiting the shelter every three to five days to see all new arrivals.
- On days you cannot visit Animal Care & Control, call LOST PET at 415.567.8738.
- Search in your neighborhood regularly. Call or whistle, especially in the evenings when it is quiet.
- Consider leaving a personal item, such as a jacket or your pet’s bed, outside to help your pet find the scent home.
- Alert your neighbors. If your animal is injured or frightened, it may be hiding. Ask your neighbors to check garages and tool sheds.
- Post fliers throughout your neighborhood, at local veterinary hospitals and at businesses. It should include enough information for an honest person to contact you, but not enough detail that a scammer can claim to have your pet. Be careful! Never pay reward money in advance, and be sure to meet anyone in a public place.
- Post a lost pet ad on Craigslist and consider placing an ad in your local newspaper.
- If your pet is microchipped, call the company to confirm that your contact information is up-to-date, and alert them that your pet is missing.
- Don’t give up hope, and don’t assume your pet has been stolen. Keep searching the animal shelter and checking ads.
Tips for keeping your returned pet healthy — and at home:
- Spay/neuter your animal as soon as possible, which will make them less likely to roam.
- Microchip your animal, which provides permanent identification.
- Commit to keeping your cat indoors only. Indoor/outdoor cats rarely live their natural lifespan due to the dangers of cars, disease, poison and injury.
- Consider dog training classes, especially if your dog is a “door dasher” or escape artist. The SF SPCA offers affordable classes with behavioral specialists who will help you to train your dog to actually listen when you say, “Stay!"