Lost Pets

Lost and found pets

Lost pets that are found by a Seattle Animal Control Officer within the Seattle city limits are brought to the Seattle Animal Shelter. If you live outside the city or near the city's borders, contact other shelters in your area. If you're not sure, check the address on King County Parcel Viewer; if the jurisdiction says "Seattle," it is within city limits.

My pet is at the Seattle Animal Shelter

If you believe your pet is at the shelter, please call us at (206) 386-7387 (PETS) to make an appointment. When you come to reclaim your pet, please bring a form of photo ID and proof of ownership, and be prepared to pay applicable redemption fees. While we love caring for the animals here, we would like this to be your pet's first and only visit to us! Review our Lost Pet Prevention tips to keep your pet safely at home.

Nov. 7, 2023 SCAM ALERT: Seattle Animal Shelter has learned that calls are being made to people who have made lost pet reports. The callers are claiming to represent the Seattle Animal Shelter and asking for money for a medical procedure. To minimize your risk from these scammers:

  • Please also know that the Seattle Animal Shelter does not require advance payment for sick or injured animals in our care. Please do not send money online.
  • Call Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387 (PETS) if you think we may have your pet.

If you lost a pet, use the methods below to aid in your search.

  • Submit a Lost Report: Submit a Lost Report to the Seattle Animal Shelter.
  • Check our website: View found pets at the shelter as well as animals available for adoption. If you do not have consistent internet access, you may listen to our Lost Pet Hotline by calling (206) 386-7387 and choosing the appropriate option. The lost pet hotline is recorded each evening and includes pets detained at the shelter in the last 48 hours.
  • Update microchip information: If your pet is microchipped, call the company and report your pet as lost, and make sure your contact information is updated and accurate.
  • Update license information: If your pet has a Seattle pet license call us at (206) 386-4262 between 1pm and 6pm and staff can help you make sure your contact information is correct. 
  • Visit the Mission Reunite website: This site provides specific, in-depth tips and techniques for creating a search plan based on your pet's personality and behavior, as well as excellent guidelines for producing effective lost posters and fliers.
  • Search and post online: Craigslist is the most commonly used website for posting lost and found pets, but we've found that neighborhood blogs and groups are also very helpful. Here are several that we know have been effective in returning lost pets to their homes:
  • Search and post in person:
    • Create an eye-catching flier with a good photograph of the animal and your contact information. (Visit the Mission Reunite for tips.)
    • Post fliers at local veterinarians' offices, stores that allow community posts and at the Seattle Animal Shelter.
    • Give fliers to mail carriers and delivery persons, and go door-to-door in the area where the pet was lost.
  • Contact other shelters: While animals found in Seattle should be brought to the Seattle Animal Shelter, it is possible your pet could have been taken to another local shelter. If your pet was lost anywhere near the border with Shoreline, Burien or King County, you should check with other shelters.

Thank you for contacting the Seattle Animal Shelter. Most lost pets are found very close to home and have a higher likelihood of being reunited with their family if they remain in the neighborhood where they were found instead of being brought to the shelter.

If you have found a sick/injured pet please call us at (206) 386-7387, option 2 immediately. Our phones are open 7 days a week, excluding holidays, 9 am- 6pm. Outside of these hours you can take the pet to an emergency veterinarian.  

If you have found a healthy and friendly pet that needs help being reunited with their owner please follow these steps:

1.       Post a photo of the pet and the general location on social media, neighborhood blogs, and Craigslist. Also check those sites for someone missing a pet matching the description. Visit our website for a list of helpful local sites.

2.       Confine the pet and bring it to a local veterinarian or the animal shelter to have them scanned for a microchip and contact the owner directly.

3.       Submit a Found Animal Report

4.       If all of this fails and you are unable to reunite the pet with their family or owner please call us at (206) 386-7387, option 2 to speak with staff about bringing the pet in to the Seattle Animal Shelter or requesting pickup by an Animal Control Officer.

The typical reclaim rate for lost pets is only 17% when a pet comes into the shelter. But when a pet is kept in a safe place in the neighborhood where they were found that rate jumps to 70%.

Most lost pets are found very close to home. They have a higher likelihood of being reunited with their family if they have a safe place to stay in the neighborhood where they were found for just a short period of time instead of being brought right to the shelter.

Every day lost pets are brought into our shelter, but their families do not know they’re here. People who have lost a pet assume they’re close by their home and most likely a neighbor will find and return them. They do not usually think to look for the pet at the shelter. This causes many animals to never get back to the people who love them.