I LOST A PET
First, stay calm. Following the instructions below will greatly increase your chance of finding your lost pet. The biggest mistake people make is not doing everything on the check list below.
NOTE: All animals arriving at Ventura County Animal Services are scanned for a microchip implant. Please ensure your pet’s microchip is registered and the contact information is up-to-date. If you have an old phone number or email address connected to the microchip, we will not be able to contact you if your pet enters the shelter. If your pet comes into our care and there is information connected to the pet’s microchip, ID tag or license, we will make all reasonable attempts to contact you, including phone calls, emails, and sending letters via U.S. Mail. Animals who arrive at VCAS with any form of ID are placed on an extended stray hold of ten (10) days. Animals who enter our shelter who do not have ID, are placed on a five (5) day stray hold. Animals are made available for adoption when their stray hold is over.
- Fill out a LOST DOG REPORT or fill out a LOST CAT REPORT.
- View shelter pets EVERY THREE (3) DAYS: Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, or Other species.
- Someone may have found your pet. View FOUND DOGS. or FOUND CATS.
- Post your pet on missing pet on the appropriate Facebook Missing Pet page.
- Create LOST PET flyers. Offering a reward increases your chance of being reunited. Use flyer to hand people, not to post on light pole as they are too small for cars to see.
- Make POSTERS with bright backgrounds. They will get noticed much more the flyers. Consult local law before posting in public spaces.
- Post on CRAIGS LIST EVERY THREE (3) DAYS.
- Download FINDING ROVER app, a facial recognition platform, and post your lost dog’s photo. See orange button below.
- Post your pet on NEXTDOOR neighborhood.
- Set up a PAW BOOST alert.
- Deceased pets. Sometimes the unthinkable happens and your cherished pet is found deceased. Search our list of deceased animals. This list provides descriptions and locations only. (this feature is temporarily non-functional)
- Check other shelters for your missing pet.
How Far Indoor-Only Cats Travel.
How Far Outdoor-Access Cats Travel.
Indoor-Only cats typically stay close to home. On average they will travel 50 yards from home, or approximately 2 1/2 house lengths away.
Outdoor-Access cats are typically found 344 yard away or 17 house lengths away.
I FOUND A PET
Thank you for taking care of someone else’s pet. But please remember that this is not your pet and you cannot keep them without making a concerted effort to find the owner. Do not make up stories to justify keeping the pet, such as: “If the owner really loved you, it wouldn’t be that easy to escape” or “I will be a better parent that those who let you go.” These are false conclusions; justifications for people to keep animals for themselves. Someone out there is very worried and they need their pet to be returned.
- COMPLETE a FOUND CAT report or a FOUND DOG report.
- CHECK for ID tags and call any number you find.
- CHECK pet for License/ID tag. If pet has a QR code on the tag, hold your phone’s camera to the code but do not take a picture. A link will pop up on your phone. Follow it to the owner’s information. If pet has a metal tag, call VCAS at (805) 388-4341 and read us the License Tag number so we can contact the owner.
- CHECK for a Microchip. Take the pet to a Veterinary Clinic or Hospital to get scanned for a microchip. Get the microchip number from the veterinarian and look it up at www.petmicrochiplookup.org
- CREATE a FOUND ANIMAL flyer. You can save it as a digital file to post online. We also suggest printing 200 to post around the neighborhood.
- TAKE A WALK. Some dogs don’t travel far. Ask people if they recognize the dog you’re walking.
- Search for the pet on Facebook Missing Pet pages and post the pet’s photo with your contact information:
- Post the pet on your Next Door neighborhood and PawBoost.
- BE CAUTIOUS: If someone says they are the owner, have them provide proof before you meet. If they cannot send you photos of them with their dog, be wary. They can also send you photos of any adoption paperwork they may have.
- BE CAUTIOUS: Even if they have proven ownership, meet at a public place such as a Police Station. If they don’t want to meet at a Police Station, this should be a red flag. Speak with the police and provide the party’s contact information.
- KEEPING THE ANIMAL: By law, you must continue to search for the owner for at least 30 days (V.C. Ordinance 4468-1) after which you can claim ownership by registering the animal under your name at the shelter.
If you have found the owner, congratulate yourself for saving a life and reuniting them with their thankful family!