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.
  • Bring the animal to ACCT! This is the best chance of getting an animal reunited with the owner, if you are unable to contact the owner yourself. While you may be reluctant to bring a pet to a shelter, owners who are unable to find their pet will search the shelters frequently and as Philadelphia’s only open intake shelter, we’re the first place they check. ACCT takes in lost pets and stray animals 10-6 each day. Dogs are held for 48 hours, before they can potentially go to an adopter or rescue. Note: If you are the finder of a lost pet and are interested in adopting the pet after the 48-hour hold, please let the staff know at the time you are turning in the lost pet.
  • 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 it 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 of a person lost a pet far away from where it was found. Make sure to ask for proof of ownership (pictures or vet paperwork) 

Lost and Found Pets – Powered by ACCT Philly
Lost and Found Pets Philadelphia
Lost and Found Pets Mauser
Craigslist Philadelphia
NextDoor – a Neighborhood Forum

  • Post flyers within a 2 mile or 40 block radius of where the pet was found. Your flyer should include a detailed physical description of the pet, photos (full-body and photos of identifying marks) and your contact information (email and cell phone to text). Post this flyer with permission in as many places as possible, in the area where the pet was found. Pet shops, groomers, veterinarian and supermarkets, police precincts, bulletin boards, bus stops, taxi services, Laundromats, etc. If someone responds to your flyer, make sure you obtain some type of proof of ownership before releasing the pet to the person. Do not forget to remove all flyers once the pet is reunited with his or her owner!
  • Find a cat? A special note about outdoor cats: Cats are allowed outdoors in the city of Philadelphia. If you have found a cat, you might have found someone’s pet who has either been let out or escaped the house. Free roaming cats brought to ACCT Philly who are deemed healthy will be verified as sterilized, vaccinated and released back to their home territory so that they may return home in accordance with our Community Cats Program that is reducing the population of free roaming cats in Philadelphia through targeted sterilization. 
  • Cats are more likely to find their own way home than be reclaimed at the shelter: Be aware that cats are more likely to find their own way home than to be reunited by any other method. Bringing a cat to the shelter, unless that cat is in need of medical care, is the least likely way for that cat to get home. The best thing you can do for a healthy, adult cat who is not in imminent danger is allow him or her to find their way home and only intervene if you are concerned for the cat’s safety.