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Lost and Found

If you Lost an Animal:

Please follow these steps:

1. Check the pets and lost and found section on Missoula Craigslist. The shelter posts pictures and ads when animals come into the facility. It is also a good idea to post a lost ad on Craigslist so if someone finds your dog after hours they have access to your information.

2. Call the Shelter at (406) 541-7387 and report your pet missing; then call the Humane Society and leave a lost report there also. Do not wait a few days and see if the pet shows up first. After four full working days in the shelter, the animal is the property of Missoula Animal Control and will be available for adoption. Sometimes owners wait too long to come to the shelter and then find their pets adopted into new homes. Adoptions are final. Adoptors of unclaimed strays will not be contacted to return a pet if the former owner shows up. As a general rule, once your pet has been missing overnight, please call the shelter as soon as possible.

3. Go to the shelter and look at all the animals. It is not always possible to confirm a pet's identity over the phone because no two people describe an animal the same way. One picture is worth a thousand words. Be sure to tell a staff member the purpose of your visit because sick or injured animals may be at a vet clinic or in a room not visible to the general public. Dogs may also be outside on break in the exercise yard. If your pet is not there, make sure you fill out a lost pet report at the desk if you have not already done so. Please bring us a picture of your pet. We will notify you as soon as anyone calls or brings in any possible match. After your initial visit, we recommend weekly shelter visits in order to view all strays received, or check the pictures and daily admissions via this site, as well as our "found" ad in the Missoulian. Most pets are found within the first week, but reunions may occur at any time. In April we took in a stray cat and then returned her to an owner who had been missing her since just before Christmas. Don't give up!

4. Call the Missoulian Classified Ad Department at 721-6200. They will run a free 3 day ad. Check the lost and found column in the newspaper every day for a list of all new strays at our shelter, the Humane Society, and those found by individuals.

5. Post pictures of your pet at convenience stores, grocery stores, and mailboxes near the location your animal was lost. We encourage you to confirm with us weekly for a few weeks that your lost pet is still missing. Please give both the pet's name and your name when you call or write in case we have more than one animal with the same name or in case the person who called in the lost report has a different name than you. We keep lost pets on our active list for 3 months, or even longer if you request.

It is equally important to notify us when your pet is found. Keeping our lost list current facilitates match ups. We take many lost reports each month, and doing follow-up phone calls is extremely time consuming. When people forget or don't answer our follow-up calls, this doubles the time factor. Please help us help you!

Once your pet is safely home please take the proper precautions to prevent a recurrence. All dogs and cats need a collar with current i.d. Collars without tags (or with tags bearing outdated information) won't help us find you. A rabies tag alone is often insufficient also, i.e. if your vet clinic is closed, we won't be able to access the owner information until the next working day. Also many vet clinics do not keep owner information on file once the tag is outdated. Many pets with collars and/or only rabies tags are unable to be returned to owners. Ask your vet about microchipping.

Good luck. If we can be of further assistance, please call us at (406) 541-7387.


If you Found an Animal:

Follow these instructions:

1. Call the shelter or email us via this site. If you leave a message on the shelter answering machine, be sure and tell us how to reach you. Speak slowly and clearly. Many reports are left without names or phone numbers on the machine after hours, thus we have no way to facilitate a match up. Call us first; the owner may have already left a lost report with us, but please do not hang up without leaving a found report if we don't know the owner at the time of your call. Our next phone call at the shelter may be just that person. If you do not leave a report we won't know how to contact you.

2. Next you must decide what to do with the stray. There are several options. You may keep the animal at your house, while we look for the owner. You may call us during working hours to pick up a dog or cat and bring it to the shelter, or you may also take the it to the shelter yourself during working hours. The Humane Society also accepts stray dogs and cats.

3. If you keep the animal with you, the next step is to call the Missoulian Classified Ad Department at 721-6200. They will run a free 3 day ad. Please read the lost and found section in the Missoulian every day in case the owner has placed a lost report.

4. Found pet postings at the convenience stores, grocery stores, and mail boxes closest to the location the animal was found are quite successful.

5. Please call us when the matter is resolved. We like to know when you returned the pet, lost the pet, placed the pet, or kept it yourself. This helps us keep our files current. The answering machine is available after hours at the shelter for this purpose or you may email us.

Good luck. If we can be of further assistance, please call us at (406) 541-7387.