Lost & Found

One important role we play in our community is to provide a safe place to bring lost and stray pets. If your pet is missing, you’ve come to the right place!

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Helping lost pets and reuniting families

If your pet is missing, or if you’ve found a stray pet, AWS is here to help!

We have relationships with area municipalities to act as the impound facility for pets found in their jurisdictions, usually brought in by animal control officers (ACOs). ACOs have 24/7 access to AWS so your pet will be safe indoors once dropped off. AWS staff arrive by 8 am and check for stray pets first thing. Dogs are held for 6 days, while cats are only held for 48 hours, as required by state law. After their hold period, if they have not been claimed, pets are prepared to go up for adoption.

Found a Pet?

If you have found a pet that you think is lost or stray, please call us at (207) 985-3244. We also encourage you to contact your local animal control officer.

Lost your Pet?

If your pet has gone missing, begin by filling out this form.

Once you click submit, the information will be sent to us right away and we will add your pet’s details to our log of missing animals.

If and when your pet comes into our care, we will call you using the phone number you provide.

Lost Pet Resources

We encourage you to utilize these resources to cast as wide a net as possible. Our community is wonderful at sharing and helping lost pets find their way home.

You can reach your local ACO through your town’s non-emergency police phone number or by looking up the number here.

  • Submit a report to Maine Lost Dog Recovery or Maine Lost Cat Recovery on Facebook.
  • Share your pet’s photo and information to your community’s local FB groups.
  • Post photos and information on your personal FB and Instagram, or any other social sites you use, and ask friends and followers to share your post.

Maine Lost Dog Recovery and other online sites will provide templates to make a poster. If not, making one at home is easy. List the pet’s name in large letters and include the location lost and a good quality photo that shows as much of your pet as possible. Be sure to include a phone number for people to reach you directly with sightings or information.

Some microchips companies offer resources to help spread the word about lost pets.

Investigate EVERY nook and cranny. Don’t assume that your pet would never crawl into a tiny space. Look behind, under, and inside washing machines, clothes dryers, stoves, refrigerators, and dishwashers. Look behind water heaters, in boxes, under furniture, under beds, in closets, in cabinets, in shelves and bookcases, in drain pipes, in sewer drains, in culvert pipes, under vehicles, in crawl spaces under the house, inside sheds and barns, etc. In the case of cats, also look in attic crawl spaces, drop ceilings, on the roof, in roof gutters, and up in trees.

Post flyers. Make your own or use the posters generated by Maine Lost Dog Recovery/Maine Lost Cat Recovery.

Gather clues. Ask everybody if they’ve seen or heard anything unusual in the neighborhood. This could include strange vehicles, work crews, people or activities.

Broadcast familiar noises. Have all of your family members call the pet’s name. Make any other noise that your pet might recognize. If your pet has a favorite “squeaky toy” bring it along and use it. Carry a box of your pet’s favorite treats and rattle it loudly while calling your pet’s name.

Use familiar smells. Place strong-scented articles outside your home to attract your pet. Place some of your dirty clothes outdoors. It can also help to put out some smelly food such as tuna or warm chicken. Be sure to protect the food if you can, so that other animals don’t eat it.

Lure them home with familiar items. Place a dog or cat’s bedding and favorite toys outside. For cats, put their litter box outside as well.

Lure them home with familiar friends. In warm weather, crate other family pets and place them outside in a safe and secure area. Make sure they have plenty of water and shade. Use common sense if it’s dangerously hot.

Use a dog whistle to get your pet’s attention. The high-pitched sound from these whistles can carry up to a mile or more. Cats are attracted to this sound as well. It’s also important to stop regularly, be quiet, and listen for your pet to make a noise in reply.

Illuminate hiding spots. Bring a flashlight (even during daylight hours) for checking in dark spaces. A frightened or injured pet will hide in dark spaces and may not come to you. Use your flashlight for checking under houses and other dark spots. Also check storage sheds, garages, dumpsters, trash cans, and under cars. Don’t forget to look in trees for cats.

Try to trap them. AWS can loan out humane traps to individuals trying to lure their pet home. This shouldn’t be used as a first resort, but only after the above suggestions have been tried and if there have been sightings.

Find out if your pet has been killed on the road. This is a sad but necessary task. The road crews for your local and state department of transportation (DOT) usually pick up dead animals from the roadside and city streets. In some cases, Animal Control does this as well. Call around and find out which agencies handle this service in your area.

Don’t give up. Pets have been known to find their way back home after being lost for several months.

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Claiming your pet

We’re glad we were able to care for your pet while it was missing. We love happy reunions. We do not charge a fee to claim your pet, though donations are always welcomed. Some towns we contract with for animal control services charge impound fees, which we may collect at time of claim and send to your town, or can be paid at your city/town hall prior to picking up your pet at AWS.

Animal Control Officers

Animal Control Officers (ACOs) are trained professionals employed by a local municipality (usually the police department) to handle all calls related to stray, homeless or lost pets.

Some ACOs are also sworn police officers, and some investigate animal cruelty and neglect cases in their jurisdictions.

An extra set of eyes in the community

ACOs are always on the look out for missing pets, so it’s important to report your missing pet to your local ACOs.

We work closely with Animal Control Officers

AWS has a strong relationship with the ACOs in our local communities, and we act as the impound facility for pets found by ACOs. ACOs have 24/7 access to AWS so that any pets they find can have safe and comfortable accommodations.

Helping to reunify pets with their people

Once dropped off at AWS, ACOs will provide AWS with information about where the pet was found and assist with reunification.


For more information, please contact Our Animal Care Team via email or telephone at (207) 985-3244.

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And the winner is... 𝗧𝗘𝗔𝗠 #𝗔𝗪𝗦𝗖𝗔𝗧! Our feline friends are celebrating with catnip as we speak and of course, they've received bragging rights over the dogs. Maybe next year Team #awsdog can win back the crown but for now, all hail the cats! 

We want to thank our community for their incredible support this Giving Tuesday. Yesterday's friendly competition between dog lovers and cat lovers has brought in an incredible $𝟏𝟏,𝟕𝟐𝟖 in funds to support the health and wellbeing of the pets in our care. We have been blown away by the kindness and generosity of our community of supporters this year and every year. 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮!!!
Sheena was expecting another victory for the dogs today, but so far Team #awscat has remained ahead of the game this Giving Tuesday! However, the night’s not over yet! If you think canines are more cuddly than cats (just look at how cozy Sheena is!), donate to Team #awsdog now and help your favorite species win the crown! 👑 #givingtuesday #dogsrule
Sweet Citrus wants you to know that the cats are still ahead in the Giving Tuesday competition, and that if they win he will wear his cone like a crown! 👑 Donate now to vote for Team #awscat and help Citrus be the kitty king!
Hi folks! My name is Zeus and I'm here to tell you that currently, Team #awsdog is down by almost $1000 in this year's Giving Tuesday competition. Geesh! That doesn't make sense to me because the theme is which species is the Coziest Companion: Cats or Canines? I mean, obviously it's dogs! We love to snuggle on the couch with you, in your bed, on the floor, and even in the car. We're snuggly machines! I mean, just look me right now all cozy in my winter jacket as I go for a hike. Don't you just want to hug me?!

Anyway, what I guess I'm saying is that I would love your help getting Team #awsdog to the top so we can keep our crown for two years in a row. I'll never hear the end of it if I let those pesky felines win! Donate right now and I promise to give you a big sloppy kiss if you come to visit. GO TEAM #AWSDOG!!!