Found A Pet

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Many pets are found by neighbors within close proximity to the pet's home. Bringing the stray to the shelter should be the last resort. We need community members to assist us in limiting shelter intakes to animals that are truly homeless or suffering and those that represent public safety concerns. If you find a stray, please submit a Found Pet Report, review the tips and follow the recommendations provided in our Found Pet Resource Packet to expedite the reunion of the pet with its owners.  

There are a few ways you can help a lost pet get back to its home without bringing it to the shelter.

Microchip Scanning Now Available Throughout City

Animal Services (RAS) has provided microchip scanners to Neighborhood Service Centers, R-Centers and pet stores to help reunite missing pets with their people. Email us if your organization or business is interested in becoming a microchip scanning location. Scanner distribution is contingent upon funding and with consideration for equitable access to the service.

Staff at these sites can use the scanners to search for microchips on lost animals they encounter to help the finder locate the owner. If a microchip is identified, the finder or the staff member can check the American Animal Hospital Association’s online Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool to facilitate re-unification. Scanners are located at: 21 DRHS RAS lost dog social 8x8 ENG

What To Do If You Find A Lost Dog

  1. Be Safe
    If you are able to, get the dog to a safe and secure area. Be aware of surroundings. Your safety and the safety of others should come first. DO NOT RUN OR CHASE DOG INTO TRAFFIC.
  2. Check for identification
    Check if the dog is wearing a collar and has an ID tag or a license tag. Sometimes people write phone numbers directly on the collar instead of attaching a tag.
  3. Knock on doors
    Check with your neighbors or other people in the area. They may know the dog and can help you locate its home.
  4. Snap photos 
    Take shots of the dog, street signs, and area where dog was found.
  1. File a Found Pet Report
    Call 585-428-7274 or submit online Found Pet Report, or visit the shelter to during regular business hours.
  2. Check for microchip
    Take the dog to a local vet’s office, the Animal Services Center, or any of the locations listed above to scan for a microchip. If the dog has a chip, this may be the fastest and best way to find an owner. RAS can help with research, if the chip is not registered.
  3. Post on social media Post photos and location on social media sites like Craigslist, Facebook, and Nextdoor. Create Found Pet profile on Petco Love Lost, which uses facial recognition to match lost and founding postings.
  1. Make and Post Flyers
    Hang flyers in heavy traffic areas and public spaces near where the dog was found. Good old fashioned leg work is still the best way to locate an owner.
  2. Can you keep and foster the dog?
    Take the dog home for safekeeping. Keeping a found pet at home helps keep shelter population low and prevents the missing pet from being housed in a high-stress environment and exposed to disease. RAS can provide vaccines for found pets if you are willing to take them home with you. If you do take in a lost dog, it is always best to house the dog separately from other pets and from small children to avoid any possible injuries or contagious illnesses.
  3. If you cannot locate owner and cannot keep…
    If you are not able to house the dog safely, you can bring it to the shelter during regular business hours. To make an appointment call 585-428-7274. Our team may also have other options for the pet that don’t require coming to the shelter. 

    Even if a dog is found dirty, injured, or afraid, it does not necessarily mean the dog was abused or dumped. Try to avoid making assumptions or judgements. It is possible that the dog has been missing for several days or even weeks and has been injured or experienced adverse conditions during that time. Ask yourself, if you had lost a pet, what would you want a finder to do?

What To Do If You Find A Lost Cat

If you find healthy, outdoor cats and kittens, whether they are friendly or not, it is likely that someone is caring for them and they are either part of a community of cats that are being cared for or they belong to someone who allows their cats to be outside. These are cats that need to remain outside or in their neighborhood. For unowned community cats, we may be able to connect you with services to Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return (TNVR) the cats in your neighborhood. If the cats have a tipped ear, it means they have been sterilized and vaccinated. 

Review Lost Cat vs Community Cat. If you think the cat may be a lost pet, follow the tips listed above for dogs. If you haven’t seen the cat outside before, are you able to foster the cat and help with finding its owner or caregiver? Always keep unfamiliar animals separated from small children and other pets to avoid any possible injuries and potentially contagious illnesses.

If you are unsure or would like more information about community cats and TNVR, please visit

If you found kittens, please visit What To Do If You Find Kittens and Kitten Lady for information on how to keep them with mom and out of the shelter.

Sick or Injured Animals:
If you have found a sick or injured pet that needs medical assistance, please bring it to RAS during regular business hours. For after-hours service, call 911.

After Hours:
Animal Emergency Services operates the 24-hours emergency veterinary clinic at 825 White Spruce Blvd and accepts sick or injured strays from Good Samaritans outside of RAS hours. Call 585-424-1277 to let them know if you are bringing in a sick or injured animal that you found.

                                                       Found Pet Resource Packet 

                                                        Submit a Found Pet Report


The animals listed below came to us as unidentified, lost pets or were found and cared for by community members who are assisting with reuniting the lost pets with their owners. Most lost companion animals are found very close to their homes and often can be reunited with their people without requiring intake at the animal shelter. The following are photos and reports for animals brought to us as unidentified, lost pets and also pets that were found in the city of Rochester that are staying with the people who found them to assist with getting the animals back home. Finders receive guidance and support from our office and they submit Found Animal Reports, post Found Pet Flyers, create Finding Rover listings, and knock on doors to attempt to locate the animals' people or individuals who may know where the animals' homes are.

Search Found Dogs

Search Found Cats

Search Other Found Pets


Try searching using Petco Love Lost by clicking the link below.




Pets and Animals