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Report a Found Pet and Other Resources

What to do if you find a stray dog or another lost pet in Washington County, Oregon.

Found a pet?

One of our main focuses is helping reunite lost pets with their owners. Please assume that the animal you found has a family who is looking for it. Follow the steps below to increase the chances of a reunion.

What to do if you find a pet

  • Report the found pet online, in person at our shelter or by calling us at 503-846-7039.

  • Try to contact the owner directly.  See if there is an ID on the animal with a phone number on it or check with neighbors to see if they recognize the animal.

  • If the dog is wearing a Washington County License tag, use the Dog License Lookup tool to get the owner’s phone number from our system.

  • Check the animal for a microchip. We can scan for a microchip here at the shelter, and most veterinary clinics will scan found pets for free. 

  • Bring the pet to the shelter so we can attempt to find its owner.

    • Call us at 503-846-7039 before bringing any pet to the shelter.
    • There is a $15 fee to bring in a found cat or other small pet (such as a bunny, guinea pig, or pet bird) and an appointment is required. This helps offset our costs for caring for the animal and working to find its owner.
    • Thanks to dog licensing fees, there is no charge to bring in stray dogs. 
  • Not able to bring a dog to the shelter yourself? Call us at 503-846-7041 to ask if an Animal Services Officer is available to pick up the dog. If it is outside of shelter business hours, call non-emergency police dispatch at 503-629-0111.

  • Do you want to keep the pet you found? Or would you like to rehome the pet yourself or care for it while you search for its owner? If you’ve fallen in love with the pet you found, here’s what you need to know if you want to adopt them or find them a new home:

    Finders who bring stray pets to us have the first chance to adopt them after the legally required stray holding period ends.

    • When you bring a found pet to the shelter, let our staff know if you are interested in adopting them if their owners do not come to pick them up.
    • You may keep the found pet at home and search for the owner yourself instead of bringing the pet to the shelter if you are follow these requirements:
      • Report the found pet to us.
      • Advertise the found pet in the newspaper for two weeks.
        • Place a classified ad in a general circulation newspaper such as The Oregonian or Pamplin Media.
      • Do your best to find the owner.
        • In addition to everything listed above, make posters, talk to neighbors, contact other shelters and veterinary clinics, and post on social media that you found the pet. 
        • Care for the found pet for 90 days while looking for the owner.
    • Notify us: Let us know if you reunite the pet with an owner so we can close the lost pet file. At the end of 90 days, contact us to confirm that you are now the legal owner of the animal. If it is a dog, you will need to purchase a dog license.

Remember: An animal is legally considered property and is an important member of the family. We want to do everything we can to help an animal find their way back home!


Washington County Animal Services

1901 SE 24th Avenue
Mailstop 53
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

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