Lost and Found Pets
If you have found a pet, please call us at (207) 985-3244. We also encourage you to contact your local animal control officer.
After you have filled out the form:
- Call your local Animal Control Officer (ACO) through your town’s non-emergency police phone number or by looking up the number here. Many dogs and cats are quickly picked up by town Animal Control Officers or by concerned citizens and are brought to AWS. 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, but cats are only held for 48 hours as required by state law. After their hold period, pets are prepared to go up for adoption.
- Submit a lost dog/cat report on Facebook to Maine Lost Dog Recovery/Maine Lost Cat Recovery.
- Make flyers for your neighborhood.
- Share your pet’s photo and information to your community’s local FB groups.
- If your pet is microchipped, call the company to report it lost. They may have resources to help.
- Read the other suggestions below on how to help bring your pet home.
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 Maine Lost Dog Recovery/Maine Lost Cat Recovery generated posters.
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.]
When you find your pet:
Please let us know. We will remove your pet’s description from our lost animal book. Also let Maine Lost Dog Recovery/Maine Lost Cat Recovery.
If we have your pet — claiming an animal at AWS:
We’re glad that you have been reunited with your lost pet! To help offset the care your pet received while with us, we do charge claim fees. Some towns we contract with also charge impound fees, which we will collect at time of claim and send to your town.
Our shelter claim fees are as follows:
- All Dogs:
- Daily rate: $30
- All Cats:
- Daily rate: $10
- Other Animals:
- Refer to manager
- Non-stray Reclaims:
- Refer to manager
- Medical care, emergency care, grooming expenses, postage fees, etc., are additional and will be charged upon pick up.