Reuniting Lost & Found Animals with Their Owners

Losing a pet is a frightening and emotional time for both the owner and the lost pet. The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County helps both owners and those who have found a stray animal to reunite with their family. Searching for a stray pet with our online listings below, telephone hotline, and at our shelter is the best way to locate a lost pet.

found a stray?

If you’ve found a stray animal, you have three options of how to help reunite them with their family.

1. Bring the animal to us

The best way to reunite an animal with its family is to bring him or her to the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County during shelter hours. If you have found a pet during the hours the shelter is closed, please confine it until you can bring it to the shelter.

2. Contact Animal Control

If the pet is wearing a license, call your local animal control/pet licensing agency for the owner information. Animal control officers will bring strays without licenses to the Humane Society for sheltering.

(253) 627-7387

(253) 983-7800

(253) 964-8121

(253) 830-5010

University Place
(253) 798-3133

Metro Animal Services - Puyallup, Sumner, Bonney Lake, Edgewood
(253) 299-PETS (7387)

Greater Pierce County
(253) 299-PETS (7387)

City of Federal Way
(253) 299-PETS (7387)

3. Locate the Owner

This is perhaps the most difficult way to reunite the pet with its owner. But, if you wish to do so, please:

  • Call the shelter during business hours at (253) 383-2733 and leave a description of the pet for our “Found Pet Book.” Owners looking for a lost pet are instructed to look in this book for a description of their pet. Shelter staff will then call you if they believe the owner has been located.
  • Have the pet scanned for a microchip at your local veterinary clinic, or bring it to the shelter to be scanned. Often pets without external ID have microchips enabling identification of their owners.
4. What should you do it you found an injured/sick/orphaned wildlife?

The Humane Society of Tacoma and Pierce County is not equipped to serve injured wildlife.  Please take wildlife to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. 

Many state and federal laws prohibit the handling or keeping of wildlife unless you are licensed to do so.  Licensed wildlife rehabilitators are trained to care for many types of native wildlife and have the proper equipment to provide appropriate diagnosis and care for these animals to help return them to the wild. 

You can find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator at the following sites:

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website:

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association website:

PAWS Wildlife Center at 425-412-4040 or visit their website:

If you need help determining if a wild animal is injured or orphaned see the following web page:

lost a pet?

Five Steps to Finding Your Lost Pet:

1. Search Our Shelter Online

Browse the online listings of pets in our shelter above, clicking the respective "Dogs", "Cats", or "Critters" rectangle, to see if your pet is listed.

2. Call us

Call the Humane Society’s Found Pet Recording. Only pets found the previous day are listed, and only for that one day. (253) 383-2733, press 3 then 1

3. Visit the Kennels & Cattery

Check in when you arrive to have a staff member escort you to view all stray pets. Strays are held a minimum of two business days before the process for adoption begins. We recommend you visit the shelter at least every other day.

4. Check with Our Staff

Several 3-ring binders are located in Customer Service, listing found animals that are not on view. They may be held at someone’s home, at a veterinary clinic, deceased, or in quarantine.

5. Don’t give up!

Some pets have been reunited with their owners months or even years after being lost.

Also try to:

  • Contact the people closest to where your pet was lost.
  • Post signs in the area, with a description and a photo if possible.
  • Take out a classified ad in the local newspaper. Many newspapers offer free “lost pet” ads.