Report a Lost Pet

Who can use this service?

Anyone who has lost a dog or lost a cat, or lost any other pet or animal, can use this service. While we work to match up our lost and found animal reports and compare them against animals in our shelter, descriptions sometimes vary so it is important for the owners of lost pets to check the shelter frequently.

Is there a charge for this service?

This service is provided free of charge.

What is the process?

Step 1: Search the Neighborhood

By acting quickly, you may be able to locate your pet before he has the opportunity to wander too far from home. You can make a quick trip through the neighborhood in your car, but it is important to also canvas the area on foot. This will let you look more closely at areas you won't see when driving by. If you take a regular path when walking your dog, follow this route. Otherwise, start close to home and work outward in increasingly large circles. Bring a leash or carrier and even some treats to help entice your animal back to you. Don't forget to call out to your animal as you go - looking a little silly is a small price to pay for getting your pet back home safely.

Step 2: File a Lost Animal Report

Contact Animal Services immediately to file a Lost Animal Report. To ensure that we get all the necessary information as quickly as possible, it is best to file this report over the phone at (805) 781-4400. If you bring a cell phone along, you can make the report as you are canvasing the neighborhood for your pet. If you are unable to file a phone report, you can download a Lost Animal Report form, fill it out, and submit it to Animal Services by fax (805) 781-1065 or send it via email with a picture to lostanimals@sloanimalservices.com

Step 3: Check with Vet Hospitals

 If your animal has been injured, he may have been brought to a veterinary facility. Contact the clinics in your area and provide them a description of your pet along with your phone number. If the local clinics are closed when your pet goes missing, check with the emergency animal hospitals in Arroyo Grande and Atascadero. 

Step 4: Get the Word Out

The more you get the information out about your missing pet, the better.

  • Talk with your neighbors and let them know your pet is missing. Bring along a recent photo and make sure that they have your phone number and address. Also, check with mail carriers, delivery personnel, and others who work in the area.
  • Make up "lost pet" flyers. Include a clear, current photo of your animal; list the breed, sex, color, age, size or weight, and any distinguishing characteristics. Include your name and phone numbers. It's a good idea to include a phone number for a friend or family member in case you can't be reached. Good places to post your fliers include mailboxes, signposts, and trees around the area where your pet was lost; dog parks; vet clinics and pet stores; around schools; and high traffic commercial facilities like grocery and convenience stores, gas stations, and restaurants.

Step 5: Go Online

Post a notice with online community boards like Craig's List and Lost Pets of SLO County. Be sure to look at postings for "Found Animals" too. Online services like the Center for Lost Pets and Fido Finder are also available to help find lost pets.

Step 6: Check Our Lost Pet Hotline and Website

The Lost Pet Hotline (781-4407) provides a daily recording of all animals brought to the shelter or reported to Animal Services as found in the last 24 hours. The recording updates daily at approximately 6:00 p.m. 
Animal Services' website displays a listing of all animals in our shelter as well as a listing of all animals reported as found over the last sixty days.

Step 7: Visit Our Shelter

No one knows your animal better than you. While tools such as Lost Reports, the Animal Services' website and Lost Pet Hotline are helpful, descriptions of animals, even photographs, may vary from the way you would describe your pet. Therefore, it is critical that you physically visit the shelter and personally look for your pet on a frequent and regular basis (at least every 72 hours).

Step 8: Get Notified

Animal Services tweets out a found animal alert every time we pick up a stray animal and every time we receive a found animal report from a member of the public. You can subscribe to this notification service by following @SLOLostPets on Twitter.

Step 9: Keep Your Information Updated

Identification aids like microchips and license tags only work if your contact information is up to date. If your animal gets lost, contact Animal Services, your pet's microchip registry, and any other pet recovery companies you have an account with to ensure that they have your most current address, phone numbers, and email address on file.

Step 10: Don't Give Up

If you don't find your pet right away, keep at it. Many animals are reunited with their owners after several weeks or even months.

When and where is this service offered?

Lost and found animal reports can be filed online or by calling Animal Services directly. 

Contact Animal Services immediately to file a Lost Animal Report. To ensure that we get all the necessary information as quickly as possible, it is best to file this report over the phone at (805) 781-4400.

If you bring a cell phone along, you can make the report as you are canvasing the neighborhood for your pet.

If you are unable to file a phone report, you can download a Lost Animal Report form here and submit it to Animal Services by fax (805) 781-1065 or send it via email with a picture to lostanimals@sloanimalservices.com.    

Location, directions and hours of operation

Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information

Animal Services Shelter

Monday - Friday 8-5

885 Oklahoma Avenue San Luis Obispo, CA 93405

Tel: (805) 781-4400

Animal Licensing: (888) 738-3463

Shelter Update: (805) 781-4407