Photo of a cute dog's face.

If You've Lost Your Pet

Visit Austin Animal Center to look for your lost pet as soon as possible. All types of domestic and unique pets, exotic animals, farm animals and wildlife may be brought to the Center. Due to the large number of animals, some may be held for only three days or less after intake. Please visit the shelter ever day and search our database to check for your lost pet.

Search for Your Lost Pet

  1. Visit the Austin Animal Center to search for your lost pet. Animals are held only three days so be sure to visit as quickly as possible and come once per day to look for your missing pet.
  2. Search for your lost pet in our online database. Organize by 'Days In Shelter' by clicking that category heading.
  3. View the Found Pet Map, which updates hourly.
  4. Visit and join the Austin Lost and Found Pets Facebook page to post photos and information about your pet.
  5. Post and search for your lost pet on Nextdoor.com and Craigslist in the Community section under Lost & Found and Pets.
  6. Check surrounding animal shelters where your pet may have been taken. Some well-meaning people may pick up your dog or cat and take it to the closest shelter, which may not be Austin Animal Center!

To Reclaim Your Pet from Austin Animal Center

  • You must visit Austin Animal Center to reclaim your pet
  • Bring proof of ownership like vet records or a photo ID of your pet to reclaim.
  • Bring your photo ID-- we accept Driver's License, US or International passport, government or other official photo identification and Mexican Consulate cards.

Tips for finding your lost pet:

  • Start searching immediately.
  • Create and distribute flyers and post signs in high traffic areas. Please ensure that your flyers and signs do not violate City of Austin sign regulations. For display and design tips, click here.
  • Distribute flyers in vet clinics, pet stores, groomers, pet boarding facilities and other local businesses. 
  • Make sure your pet's microchip is up to date.
  • Don’t give up too quickly. Some lost pets are found within hours or days and others are found months or even years after disappearing. Don’t give up hope!

If You’ve Found a Pet

You can help a stray pet's chances of getting back home by keeping him in the community and looking for the owner. Did you know that a majority of pets reclaimed from Austin Animal Center were found within 1,000 feet of their home? Plus, you help us save space for sick and injured pets who really need our help.

Follow these steps to help find the owner and keep the pet out of the shelter:

  1. Take the found pet to a veterinarian, emergency animal hospital or the shelter to have the pet scanned for a microchip.
  2. Submit a Found Animal Report by calling 311 or use the Austin 311 app.
  3. The pet will then be listed in our online database for two weeks.
  4. Visit the Pet Resource Center for supplies like food, a crate, collar and leash while you hold onto the pet.
  5. Post the pet as found on sites like Nextdoor, Craigslist and Austin Lost and Found Pets. 
  6. Hang Flyers where the pet was found. 
  1. Visit and join the Austin Lost and Found Pets Facebook page to post photos and information about your pet.

If you cannot keep the pet in your home or the animal is injured, you can bring it to the Austin Animal Center's Pet Resource Center Monday through Friday, 11am to 7pm or Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5pm. It may take up to an hour for intake if we are experiencing high volume. 

Healthy Found Cats

The Austin Animal Center does not acept healthy found cats into our adoption program, regardless of friendliness. Our Shelter-Neuter-Return program in partnership with Austin Humane Society ensures that healthy found cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, ear tipped and then returned to the exact location they were found. This increases the liklihood of the cat going back home and saves space in the shelter for owner surrendered, sick and injured cats. 

If you find a cat and would like it to go through our Shelter-Neuter-Return program to be spayed/neutered and returned to the community, you can bring it to Austin Animal Center's Pet Resource Center Monday through Friday, 11am to 7pm or Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5pm. It may take up to an hour for intake if we are experiencing high volume. 

Unique or Exotic Pets and Wildlife

Austin Animal Center takes in all types of unique pets, not just dogs and cats. Found, unique pets, exotics, farm animals and injured wildlife are brought to the shelter as well. Wildlife is sometimes transferred to Austin Wildlife Rescue. Please check our online database and select ‘Other’ to search for animals other than dogs and cats.