Found Pet Help Guide

Think lost…not stray!

  • Check for ID
    • If you can safely do so, check the pet’s collar for any identification and contact pet owner.  If the pet is wearing a Maricopa County tag, you can call 602-506-7387 at any time (day or night) and follow the prompts for a stray dog you have captured that is wearing a Maricopa County tag.  There is an automated system that will provide you with the phone number(s) on file and the email address.
    • Both call and text any phone numbers associated with the pet because many people screen their calls and may not realize someone is calling about their pet.  If the phone number has voice mail be sure to leave a message that you have found their pet.  
  • If you can safely do so, walk pet around found area to see if anyone is out looking and to see if you see any lost pet signs. Most pets are both lost and found in the same general vicinity so this quick area check right after a pet has been found can sometimes help you find the owner quickly and easily. 
  • Get a Microchip Scan - If you can safely take pet to be scanned  
    1. Any veterinarian, including an emergency vet, will scan a found pet for free.
    2. You can also have a found pet scanned for free at your area shelters. You do not have to turn the pet in but they can scan the pet and help you start the process of documenting the pet found.   
    3. Every found pet should be scanned with a universal scanner (not all scanners are universal scanners) and the scan should include scanning the pet all over, if the pet is amenable, in case a chip has moved.  
    4. If a microchip is detected and you are taking the found pet home while the scanning facility attempts to contact owner please get the microchip number or ask the scanning facility to email the microchip number to if they are unwilling to provide the chip number directly to you.
  • Report the pet found to Maricopa County Animal Care & Control. This can be done online, in person at the shelter, or by calling 602-372-4598. When you make this report the found pet will be assigned an ID# that is emailed to you.  This phone number is for reporting purposes only.  No field services requests or intake appointments can be made at this number.   
  • Hang signs/fliers in the found area. 
  • Spread the word online that you have found a pet. Your community or area may have their own Facebook pages specific to the area and/or lost/found pets in the area.  Some suggested resources to get you started posting below:

*Use the same resources above to look for possible matches to the pet you found.  Pet owners are referred to the same resources so watch to see if an owner has posted searching for their pet.  

**Be cautious about potential scams.  Do not reply to messages asking for verification codes and do not post your address online.  Have possible owner verify ownership with photos, vet records or other proof of ownership documents.