Thank you for looking out for the pet you have found! Below is a list of recommended steps to assist you in locating the family of the lost pet. 

  • Contact the Owner. If the pet has any visible ID (tags, etc.) contact the owner. Look around the neighborhood and ask people if they have seen anyone searching for a missing pet. The first place owners look for their pet is the community, so it’s important to spread the word as someone may recognize the pet and be able to help you reunite them!
  • Research the Tags. You may use these resources to track down an owner based on the ID tags:  
    • Philly Dog License: Can be traced by emailing the ACCT Philly team at
    • Rabies tags will have vet or shelter information on them – contact them with the tag number so they can contact the owner
    • If you have had the pet scanned for a microchip at a vet office, you can search the number on to locate the phone number of the company that the chip is registered with. We’re happy to help with microchip follow up as well.
  • Keep the Lost Pet but File a Found Pet Report. By filing a Found Pet report with ACCT, you must submit your contact information and email address so that the owner may contact you if a match is made. Please keep in mind that you are required to hold the animal for the hold period which we can advise you on depending on if they have a microchip or not, and give them back to the owner if an owner comes forward during that time frame. Additionally, don’t jump to conclusions about a pet’s owner based on the pet’s condition. Sometimes pets may have injuries or look matted and uncared for after having been out for a while, and it isn’t necessarily reflective of the care they received.

    You may file a found pet report here

  • Post to Social Media and Similar Sites. Facebook is an incredible resource for owners and for our volunteers. Post photos, along with information on where the animal was found, what date, if it has any identifying markings, tags, collars, etc. *Remember: Pets can travel a long distance in a short time. Don’t be skeptical if a person lost a pet far away from where it was found. Make sure to ask for proof of ownership (pictures or vet paperwork)
  • Bring the animal to ACCT! This should be your last resort if you are unable to contact the owner yourself. The shelter is extremely full, and all animals are at risk of euthanasia after their stray hold is up. Dogs are held for 48 hours before they can potentially go to an adopter or rescue, and for 10 days if they are microchipped. It is much better for the found animal to serve that stray hold in your home if possible! There is no legally required stray hold for cats, although we will do our best to reach out to a potential owner if the cat is microchipped. If you are the finder of a lost pet and are interested in adopting the pet after the stray hold, please let the staff know at the time you are turning in the lost pet.

NOTE: If you find a healthy stray cat, please leave it outside unless you are sure it is not an indoor/outdoor cat, or a cat from a cat colony. Please exhaust all other options for stray dogs before bringing them to the shelter, as ACCT Philly is EXTREMELY FULL and all animals are at risk of euthanasia due to space.

Seriously ill or injured animals can still be brought to ACCT if the finder cannot hold onto the animal, or cannot seek outside medical care.