Found Pets
Found Pets

What to do when you find a stray animal


What do I do if I have found a stray animal? Don't panic! These tips below will walk you through what to do if you find an animal in Atlanta who appears to be without an owner. Following these steps will significantly increase the chances of reuniting the stray pet with its owner.


What to do if you find a cat or kitten

Follow these tips on what to do when you find stray cats or kittens.


What to do if you find a friendly* dog

  1. Keep the dog for 48 hours and text FOUND to 1-833-ATLPETS to opt-in to receiving text messages about found pet reunification tips. You may opt-out at any time.
  2. Check the pet for an identification tag. Is there a phone number to call? Is there a microchip number on a tag? If not, take the dog to a veterinarian for a free microchip scan. Be sure to call ahead!
  3. If you’re able to find a microchip number, call the county shelter where the pet was found and we’ll help you trace the pet’s microchip.
  4. Walk the dog around the neighborhood to see if anyone recognizes them.
  5. Take clear photos of the dog. Do not alter their appearance.
  6. Post the photo on neighborhood Nextdoor and Facebook pages. Including a description and your contact info.
  7. Create colorful found pet posters and hang within a 1-mile radius of where you found the pet. Check out for free flyer templates. Be sure to include a photo of the pet and your contact information.
  8. Search local Lost & Found pet alert sites to see if an owner has already posted this pet. If not, create a found pet alert! Common sites we recommend include Pawboost, FidoFinder, and HelpingLostPets.
  9. Upload a photo to Finding Rover, a free online service that uses facial recognition technology to reunite lost pets with their owners.
  10. Become a Friendly Finder by fostering the dog short term. Learn more about our Friendly Finders program.

    *If the pet is not friendly, do not approach them. Try to take their photo and see #6 above to try to find the owner. Then contact DeKalb or Fulton County Field Enforcement, depending on which county you live in.

    *If the dog is injured or seems dangerous, call 911 and an animal control officer will be dispatched.



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LifeLine Animal Project

Founded in 2002 and now managing DeKalb and Fulton County Animal Services, LifeLine Animal Project is the leading non-profit organization working to end the euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in metro Atlanta shelters. Together, we will make Atlanta a no-kill community.

LifeLine Animal Project is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

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