Found & Missing Pet Information
If You Have Lost an Animal
Please follow these steps:
- Call the Shelter at 208-612-8670 to report your pet missing; then call the Humane Society (522-6469) and leave a lost report there also. Do not wait a few days and see if the pet shows up first. After three full working days at the shelter, the animal is the property of Idaho Falls Animal Services and will be available for adoption. Sometimes owners wait too long to come to the shelter and then find their pets adopted into new homes or euthanized. Adoptions are final. Adopters of unclaimed strays will not be contacted to return a pet if the former owner shows up. As a general rule, once your pet has been missing overnight, please call the shelter as soon as possible.
- Go to the shelter and look at all the animals. It is not always possible to confirm a pet's identity over the phone because no two people describe an animal the same way. One picture is worth a thousand words. Be sure to tell a staff member the purpose of your visit because sick or injured animals may be at a vet clinic or in a room not visible to the general public. If your pet is not there, make sure to file a lost pet report at the front desk if you have not already called it in. Please bring us a picture of your pet. We will notify you as soon as anyone calls or brings in any possible match. After your initial visit, we recommend daily shelter visits in order to view all strays received. Also, check the animals posted on the Idaho Falls Animal Shelter Facebook page (please note that it sometimes takes 2-3 days for them to get posted). Most pets are found within the first week, but reunions may occur at any time. Don't give up!
- Call the Post Register Classified Ad Department at 524-7355. They will run a free 3 day ad. Check the lost and found column in the newspaper every day.
- Post picture of your pet at convenience stores, grocery stores, etc. near the location where your animal was lost. You may also post a picture on our Facebook Page. We encourage you to confirm with us weekly for a few weeks that your lost pet is still missing. Please give both the pet's name and your name when you call or write in case we have more than one animal with the same name or in case the person who called in the lost report has a different name than you. We keep lost pets on our active file for about 3 months.
Once your pet is safely home, please take the proper precautions to prevent a recurrence. All dogs need a collar with a current city or county license and current I.D. Collars without tags (or with tags bearing outdated information) won't help us find you. A rabies tag alone is often insufficient also, i.e. if your vet clinic is closed, we won't be able to access the owner information until the next working day. Also, many vet clinics do not keep owner information on file once the tag is outdated. Cats are not required to be licensed but should have a collar with current I.D. Also, consider micro-chipping your pet. We provide this service for a small fee ($20) or you can visit your veterinarian.
If You Have Found an Animal:
Please follow these steps:
- Call the shelter (612-8670) or email us. If you leave a message on the shelter answering machine, be sure and tell us how to reach you. Speak slowly and clearly. Many reports are left without names or phone numbers on the machine after hours, thus we have no way to facilitate a match up. Call us first; the owner may have already left a lost report with us, but please do not hang up without leaving a found report if we don't know the owner at the time of your call. Our next phone call at the shelter may be just that person. If you do not leave a report, we won't know how to contact you.
Next you must decide what to do with the stray. There are several options.
- You may keep the animal at your house while you look for the owner, however, we encourage you to bring the pet to the shelter so that we can scan it for a microchip and get a picture for our lost board and Facebook page. Please remember that this is the first place that owners look for their lost pets. We have many pets whose owners don't get found because your description of their pet is not the same as the theirs.
- You may call us during working hours (612-8670) or dispatch at 529-1200 to pick up a stray dog or cat and bring it to the shelter.
- You can bring it to the shelter yourself during working hours. If you have found the pet after working hours and absolutely cannot keep the pet, you may leave the animal in one of the drop boxes at the shelter. Please fill out one of the forms provided with the proper information.
If you keep the animal with you, the next step is to call the Post Register Classified Ad Department at 524-7355. They will run a free 3-day ad. Please read the lost and found section in the Post Register every day in case the owner has placed a lost report.
- Post Found Pet postings at the convenience stores, grocery stores and mail boxes closest to the location the animal was found are quite successful.
- Please call us when the matter is resolved. We like to know when you returned the pet, lost the pet, placed the pet or kept it yourself. This helps us keep our files current. The answering machine is available after hours at the shelter for this purpose or you may email us.