Lost & Found Pets

Our Lost & Found Services

Stray dogs that are brought to The Anti-Cruelty Society are transported to an authorized holding facility (Chicago Animal Care and Control: 312-747-1406 or Animal Welfare League: 773-667-0088) for the legally mandated three day stray hold period. These animals may be transferred back at the completion of the stray hold.

There is no stray hold period for cats that are brought to shelters without identification or a microchip.

Important Note:

If you have LOST a dog, please check with the City of Chicago’s Animal Care and Control facility, 2741 S. Western, Chicago, IL, 312-747-1406 or Animal Welfare League, 6224 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL, 773-667-0088.

Visit Every Shelter Often

It’s important that you visit every animal shelter in the area to look for your pet. It is necessary that you look for your pet in every shelter that holds strays because the description you give may not be the description another person would provide for that animal. For example, one person may describe the animal as being gray with white stripes and the next person may describe the animal as being black with cream stripes.

Chicago Animal Care and Control

Paws Chicago

Animal Welfare League

Harmony House for Cats

Tree House Humane Society

Pet Harbor

Lost Dogs Illinois

Lost Cats Illinois

Lost Dogs of America

Act Fast

  • Please check the shelters daily until your pet is found. Don’t assume that a shelter will house your animal any longer than a few days.
  • Contact the local veterinary practices in your area. They may have a “Lost & Found” bulletin board in their office.
  • Notify people who are familiar with your pet to let them know it is lost
  • Read the “found” ads and take out a “lost” ad in the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, or your local paper.
  • Consider the old fashion pet finding techniques like posting fliers where you live (if your neighborhood permits it) and make sure you look for fliers that may be describing your pet found.
  • Reach out to  Lost Dogs Illinois on Facebook to create a free flyer, receive free tips and resources and post on social media. 

Don’t Give Up

The first few days your pet is lost are most important. However, sometimes pets are found even after months of searching!

One of the most common reasons a pet will stray from home is because it is not spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering your pet will eliminate your pet’s reproductive instincts and, therefore, decrease the chances of it straying from home to search for a mate.


Bring it to The Anti-Cruelty Society or to the nearest animal shelter as soon as possible.

Man and a woman with a found dog