If this is an emergency, like the pet is in need of immediate medical care or the pet is a threat to public safety, call 901-545-COPS. If human lives are in danger, please call 911.
Thank you for helping this pet! Assuming the pet you’ve found is healthy and friendly, there are several things you can do to help find the pet’s owner or find a new home if no owner can be found.
SEARCH FOR THE PET’S OWNER
Did you know that dogs only have a 10% chance of finding their way home once they go to a shelter, and cats only have about a 2% chance? They have a much better chance of getting back to their family if they stay near where they were found. If you can help the pet in this way, we will support you however we can, from providing food, kennels, listing the pet as a Found Foster (see below), and more. Leave a message at our Pet Resource Center at 901-636-1418 if you can hold on to the pet temporarily but you need some assistance.
ASK AROUND IN THE AREA YOU FOUND THE PET
If the pet has an owner, somebody in the neighborhood probably has an idea of where.
REGISTER THE PET AS A FOUND FOSTER WITH MAS
This means the pet will stay with you until you’re able to find the owner or, barring that, a new home, but the pet will receive all wellness services at MAS at no cost to you and will be listed on our website for lost pets/adoption. Leave a message at 901-636-1418 or fill out this form to set up Found Foster services.
TAKE TO ANY VETERINARIAN, ANIMAL SHELTER, OR MEMPHIS FIRE STATION TO HAVE THE PET SCANNED FOR A MICROCHIP
- If the found pet has a microchip, this is good news! Please follow these steps to find the pet’s family.
- Go to https://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ and enter the microchip number in the search box (please make sure you enter it correctly – the microchip number will be a 9, 10, or 15 character number or alphanumeric number.
- If the microchip is “enrolled” or registered, the Microchip Registries will show up on the site (please note, the pet’s microchip may be registered in more than one registry). Start at the top (most current registration) and work your way down if there are multiple registrations.
- If the microchip is registered with Found Animals Registry (the registry we use at Memphis Animal Services), simply click on their website and either click 1) Start Found Pet Alert or 2) Search Microchip number. Once the microchip number is entered click on the green box that says, “CLICK HERE TO NOTIFY OWNER,” and then “Contact Pet Owner” and enter your contact information. Once you have entered your contact information the pet owner will receive a call, text and an email immediately letting them know you have their pet!
- If the microchip is registered with another registry (Home Again, 24PetWatch, AKC Reunite, etc), call the 800 number or go to their website in order to notify the pet owner.
- If the microchip isn’t enrolled, please try the companies listed as “being distributed or manufactured by” AND go to https://avidid.com/found and enter the chip number and your contact information on the Avid website or call Avid at 1-800-336-2843.
CHECK TO SEE IF THE PET HAS ANY ID ON THEIR COLLAR
Even if they just have a rabies tag, MAS may be able to track that for you. Send a photo of the rabies tag to MAS@memphistn.gov to see if we can track it or call 901-636-1416.
Filing a FOUND DOG REPORT or a FOUND CAT REPORT will store your found pet’s information in our “Virtual Shelter,” so that when people come looking for their lost pets, they can see pets who are physically in our shelter, plus all the “Virtual Shelter” pets being housed by citizens like yourself.
Citizens who lost their pets are encouraged to file a report on our website. You can search through those LOST DOG REPORTS & LOST CAT REPORTS here to see if any of these pets match the pet you have found.
PRINT FOUND PET SIGNS
Put up as many of these signs as you can in the area where you found the pet. Remember pets can travel pretty far in short distances, so don’t make your coverage area too narrow. Take these flyers to local veterinarians and shelters too.
FIND THE PET A NEW HOME
POST THE PET ON ADOPT-A-PET REHOME
Using Adopt-a-Pet.com Rehome, you can 1) create a profile for the pet you’re rehoming, 2) review adoption applications, 3) meet adopters, and 4) finalize the adoption. Adopt-a-Pet.com is a trusted non-profit organization and their dedicated team of pet experts offers support you throughout the process of rehoming your pet. They offer expert advice and safe meeting zones to provide a safer alternative to online classifieds.
REQUEST AN MAS SOCIAL MEDIA POST
If you’ve registered the pet as a Found Foster, email us cute photos, videos, stories, and bios so we can post the pet to our social media to try to attract adopters! Email these to firstname.lastname@example.org and please include the pet’s name, animal ID #, and your full name and phone number.
UTILIZE YOUR OWN SOCIAL MEDIA & NETWORKS
Wouldn’t it be great if someone you knew adopted them and you could keep up with them and how they’re doing?
Here are some great resources to help you put the pet’s best paw forward:
Memphis Animal Services – Marketing Your Foster Pet
Foster Caregiver Marketing Guide (Maddie’s Fund)
FOR EVERYONE’S SAFETY
Any time you introduce a new pet into your home, it’s a good idea to separate the pet from your pets for at least two weeks, especially a pet with an unknown medical and behavior history. It’s not a good idea to keep a pet with unknown medical history in your home or a shared yard if you have any pets that are not up-to-date on vaccinations or who have compromised immune systems. We recommend taking the pet to a veterinarian immediately for vaccinations and an exam, and being aware of any symptoms of illness in the found pet.