Found an Animal?

Help Them Find Their Way Home

1) Fill out our Found Report.
This information will help us match up the animal with any lost reports we may have received from owners looking for their missing pets.

Found Cat     Found Dog     Found Other Animal

2) Contact all surrounding city and town animal control offices to fill out a found pet report. * This is essential if you have found a lost dog. 
Boston Animal Control can be reached at 617-635-5348. In Massachusetts, animal control is handled individually by each of the 351 municipalities and towns. Owners looking for their pets may only contact the city/town where their pet was initially lost. It is important as the finder of the pet to let all surrounding animal control facilities as well as surrounding private animal shelters like the MSPCA know you have found an animal in case the owner has been in contact with that facility. Please call your town hall to find the animal control officer in your town. If the animal was found in the Boston, Dedham or Cape Cod area, we strongly recommend calling the Animal Rescue League of Boston at 617-426-9170.

3) Post flyers in your neighborhood.
Click here for a template found pet flyer, including a color photo is ideal. The bigger the poster/flyer size the better and make sure to post flyers at eye level.

4) Tell your neighbors and mail carrier
Make sure you give them a copy of the found pet flyers you made.

5) Bring the animal to a Veterinary Clinic or Animal Shelter and ask them to scan the pet for a microchip
This service is offered free of charge at most animal control, shelter, and veterinary clinics.

6) Adoption – Keeping the animal as your own
Once you have reported the found animal to animal control and sheltering facilities in your area, posted flyers, spoke with neighbors and scanned the animal for a microchip if no owner comes forward after a few weeks, and you are interested in adopting the animal you have found, please feel free to contact us if you need financial support to have the animal spayed or neutered and receive its vaccines – visit to learn more about our low cost spay neuter programs.

If you are not able to hold onto the animal until an owner can be found

If you have found a lost dog, please contact your local animal control office. The Animal Control Officer can let you know where they are located or may be able to come and pick up the dog. If you bring the dog to the MSPCA, we are required to transfer the dog to the animal control facility of the city or town where the dog was found. Bringing the dog to your animal control officer will help them gather all the information they need from you directly and avoid a second trip in the car for the dog.

If you have found a lost cat or other type of pet,  you can bring the animal to the MSPCA during our surrender hours which are Tuesday – Friday 2pm-5pm. We will continue to look for the owner while we have the animal in our care.

Our Reality: The MSPCA is an open admission Adoption Center, which means we never turn an animal or an owner away. We receive more than 9,000 animals at the Boston Adoption Center each year. We have many wonderful success stories of finding homes for pets who are brought to us as strays. At the same time, while we try our best to find homes for every animal that is brought to us, we are often faced with difficult euthanasia decisions when an animal is not medically or behaviorally sound for adoption. We do not make this decision based on length of stay or space.Medical and behavioral evaluations are performed on animals prior to placing them up for adoption. The adoption center environment can be a very stressful place for a pet. While we do our best to make each animal feel as comfortable as possible, it is not a home. It is for this reason that we look to you to try everything you can to work on the situation you are facing or find a new home for the animal you found before surrendering the animal to us.

There are many limited admission shelters and rescue groups throughout the state of Massachusetts. Most limited admission shelters and rescue groups do not euthanize animals but work off of a waiting list if they are full and will only take in animals they are confident they will be able to place in an adoptive home. We recommend you contact limited admission rescue and shelter groups before bringing your stray pet to the MSPCA. Limited admission shelters work off of a waiting lists if they are full and will only take in animals they are confident they will be able to place in an adoptive home. Click here for a list of limited admission shelters in Massachusetts.