Lost an animal? Here’s what to do
- Contact all local animal shelters. The Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance (MDAWA) website provides a list of contact information for all MDAWA members.
- Visit EVERY shelter. The description you give over the phone may not match someone else’s description of your pet, and many pets are found farther than 10 miles from where they were lost. File a lost report and leave a current photo at all shelters you visit.
- Post fliers in your neighborhood and alert your neighbors. You can also place a sign in your yard to alert neighbors and others that your pet is lost.
- If your pet is lost in Denver, look on the Denver Animal Shelter website as often as every hour to see if your pet is at the shelter.
- Contact your veterinarian.
- Check Nextdoor.com to see if any of your neighbors have found your pet.
- Search the Craigslist “pets” and “lost+found” pages.
- Complete a Lost Cat or Lost Dog registration on PetHarbor.com.
- Search Petfinder.com.
Here is a list of some of the Denver-area shelters (this is not every shelter):
Denver Animal Shelter
1241 W. Bayaud Ave.
Denver, CO 80223
Humane Society of the South Platte Valley
2129 W. Chenango Ave.
Littleton, CO 80120
Foothills Animal Shelter
580 McIntyre St.
Golden, CO 80401
Aurora Animal Shelter
15750 E. 32nd Ave.
Aurora, CO 80011
Adams County Animal Shelter
Brighton, CO 80601
Prevent lost pets
Licensing your pet can be helpful if your pet becomes lost. Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar displaying his or her license tag, rabies tag, and ID tag.
Microchip implants are an excellent safeguard. In the event your pet loses his or her collar, the microchip information can be used to bring your pet home. Be sure to register your microchip and keep information current. Microchips are available at Denver Animal Shelter or your veterinary hospital.
Obey the Denver leash laws and make sure your pet is kept in a secure enclosure when not leashed.
Found a stray animal? Here’s what to do
- If the pet does not have a tag, please take him or her to the nearest animal shelter. See the list of shelters here.
- If the pet has identification tags, contact the owner directly.
- If the pet has a rabies tag or license, call the phone number on the tag to obtain the owner’s information.
- A pet without tags might have a microchip ID. Take the pet to your local shelter or veterinarian where a microchip reader can determine if the pet is microchipped.
- Check Craigslist or your neighborhood Facebook page to see if anyone has reported the pet missing.
- Post signs in the area where the pet was found and post a “Found” ad on Craigslist or Nextdoor. It is recommended that you do not provide all the details about the pet in the ad so if someone contacts you to claim the animal, you can ask for a complete description to verify ownership.
- As a rescue, PawsCo has a policy not to add stray animals to the organization for several reasons: 1) families look at shelters to find their pets; 2) legally, rescues must keep any stray animals up to 28 days and provide “adequate marketing” of the animal in an effort to find its home.
- PawsCo makes a commitment to use its foster homes for at-risk animals in the shelter system. Stray animals are not accepted as part of PawsCo and should be taken to or registered with a shelter so the animal’s owner is able to locate him or her. Upon taking the animal to a shelter, you may request a phone call if the animals is deemed unable to be adoptable by the shelter, and you can reach out to PawsCo at that time.