Found a Pet?
First, don’t assume a pet is dumped or unwanted.
If you find a stray dog or cat, keep in mind that the animal may be a lost pet, and someone could be searching for them. If a lost pet has been on the run for weeks or months, they may be dirty, skinny, matted, or have fleas, even if he/she escaped from a wonderful home.
Please consider helping the pet, their owner and the community by looking for the pet’s owner yourself, first. Many lost dogs and cats are found within a very short distance of the place they went missing. By focusing your efforts in the immediate area and keeping pets close to where they were found, pets are more likely to be safely reunited quickly.
What animal did you find?
If you have found a friendly, healthy dog:
Many stray dogs are found very close to their home. Focus on the immediate area to attempt to identify where it came from. However, if he seems confused or stressed, proceed with the tips below.
If you have found a friendly, healthy cat:
The vast majority of “stray” pet cats aren’t actually lost – they may simply live indoors and outdoors. If the cat seems comfortable and confident outside, he probably lives nearby or may be a “community cat” and can remain where it is. However, if he seems confused or stressed, proceed with the tips below.
Tips to reunite a pet with their owner:
First, check for ID tags and/or have the animal scanned for a microchip at a local veterinary clinic to see if it has an owner.
If it doesn’t have ID tags or microchip, here are some things to try before you bring them to the shelter:
Knock on nearby doors and see if anyone recognizes the pet. Check for lost pet posters.
Take pictures and create a flyer. Post it around the neighborhood where you found them.
Post on your own social media accounts along with Nextdoor and the helpful sites below:
NOTE: If pet was found outside of Prattville in another town, search Facebook for your town’s lost and found pages.
Consider keeping the dog or cat in your home until the owner is found. If needed, we have supplies to help you care for the pet while you search for the owner.
Submit a found animal report with the shelter.
Two weeks is the common standard time to look for an owner. At that point, if you have done all the above, the pet is considered abandoned property and can be kept or rehomed. If you can try to rehome the animal yourself, you can refer to the rehoming resources for help placing the animal in a new home.
Need more help? contact us at Prattville/Autauga Humane Society at (334) 358-2882
The vast majority of “stray” pet cats aren’t actually lost – they may simply live indoors and outdoors. If the cat seems healthy, comfortable and confident outside, he probably is a “community cat” and is perfectly fine living outdoors. Community cats may seem friendly or unsocialized.
If the cat appears healthy and has an “ear-tip” (part of one ear is missing), it means that it has one or more neighbors in the area is taking care of it. Ear-tipping is a surgical procedure performed under anesthesia by a veterinarian and identifies that the cat has been sterilized and vaccinated against rabies through a trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) program. Please leave a healthy, ear-tipped cat right where it is.
Unfriendly, Healthy Cats
If the cat does not have an ear-tip, you can schedule TNVR surgery at Alabama Animal Alliance 334-239-7387 (PETS)
To learn more about community cats watch Cats, Community & You - Do you see outdoor cats in your neighborhood?
If the cat is causing a nuisance, watch Community Cat Deterrents - Learn Methods To Help Keep Cats Away From Unwanted Areas. Many nuisance behaviors will also subside after TNVR surgery.
If you have found a kitten:
Often, well-meaning people find young kittens outdoors and assume the kittens are abandoned. However, in most cases there is a harmless reason why the kittens may be without mom for a period of time and do not require human intervention. In fact, taking kittens to a shelter creates a greater risk to those kittens. A kitten's best chance for survival is with her mother. This website will help you assess the best decision for how to help the kittens.
Still have questions? Please call Prattville/Autauga Humane Society at (334) 358-2882 and we will help you decide the best steps to take.
Additional Resources for Kittens: