Check our found pet database
This database contains lost animals who have been brought to the shelter as well as stray animals who have been found and are being housed by a member of the public. Lost pets arriving at DCHS have their pictures online within 48 hours. Most animals without pictures are being held by members of the community.
If you believe you have identified your missing pet in the database, please contact us at (608) 838-0413 ext. 100.
File a lost report
If you don't see your pet in the Found Pet Database, follow this two-step process to file a lost report with DCHS:
- Report your lost pet by completing an online report or calling (608) 838-0413 ext. 182. Please note that we receive dozens of phone calls each day and you may experience lengthy hold times. In order to help you more efficiently, we encourage you to submit your lost report online.
- Email photos of your lost pet to email@example.com. Please enter “Find My Pet” in the subject line for us to receive your message. We will add these pictures to your lost report.
Cat colors can sometimes be difficult to describe but are very important in helping us to make a match. Learn more about how to accurately describe your cat.
If we find a possible match based on your lost report, we will contact you right away!
If you have previously reported your animal missing and have been reunited, don't forget to call (608) 838-0413 ext. 182 or email us to give us the happy news.
Keep checking in
We encourage you to contact us at least once every 4 days to check on the status of your lost pet. Stray animals brought to DCHS must be held for 4 full days according to state law. If you call at least once every 4 days, you have the best chance to find your pet if they have come to DCHS. You can also visit the main shelter in-person and one of our staff members can assist you in completing a walk-through of the facility to see if your pet is currently here.
Ways to contact DCHS and check in on your Lost Pet:
- Check the Found Pet Database to find your missing pet.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Call us at (608) 838-0413 ext. 182.
- Visit the main shelter during our hours of operation.
Additional steps to find your lost pet
Quickly spread the word that your pet is missing by taking the steps below.
- Walk your neighborhood and tell neighbors, postal carriers, UPS/FedEx/Amazon drivers, and people working outside that you are looking for your pet.
- Log onto Nextdoor and immediately report your pet as missing with an urgent message to quickly contact everyone in your neighborhood.
- If your pet has a microchip, immediately contact the microchip company so the animal can be flagged as lost. If you don't know your pet's chip information, if appropriate, contact the shelter or rescue where the animal was adopted for assistance. If the chip was implanted by your veterinarian, contact your clinic.
- If your pet is wearing a rabies tag administered by a veterinarian, notify your vet clinic that your pet is lost.
- Register your animal on Petco Love Lost (formerly Finding Rover) and report the animal as being lost. If your pet was already registered with Petco Love Lost, log into your account and report your pet as being lost.
- Place a free ad in the Wisconsin State Journal under Buy & Sell, Community, Announcements, Lost Announcements. You can also call (608) 252-6363 to place an ad.
- Post flyers in your neighborhood. You can make one when you register your pet on petfbi.org
- Register your pet with www.pawboost.com, petfbi.org and PetHarbor.com. Registering the pet on petfbi.org also sends the information to Lost Dogs of Wisconsin or Lost Cats of Wisconsin
- Create a lost pet flyer and post in the area where the animal was lost, especially major intersections or at stop signs so they are easy to see. You can create one when you register the pet on petfbi.org.
- Post a photo and information (including when and where lost including nearest intersections and city) on the following sites:
- Your neighborhood and/or apartment/condo facebook pages, and community pages like Dane County Neighbors Helping Neighbors
- Community lost and found facebook pages and groups, including: LostPetsMadisonWI and Dane County WI Lost and Found Pets
- See our Lost Pet Brochure for other helpful hints on how to find your lost pet.
- Call Madison's emergency care facilities:
- Madison Veterinary Specialists (608) 274-7772
- Veterinary Emergency Service (608) 222-2455 East and (608) 831-1101 West
- UW Veterinary Care (608) 263-7600
- Additional recommendations to search for your lost pet:
- Lost Cat Behavior on Missing Animal Response
- Lost Dog Search
- Cats in the Bag
- Lost Cat Behavior on Missing Animal Response
Protect your pet
In addition to keeping a collar with identification tags on your pet at all times, microchipping is an effective form of permanent identification. It can be used in any kind of animal at any age and will last an animal's lifetime. DCHS offers collars and identification tags for sale in our Adoption Center as well as microchipping services by appointment. Call us at (608) 838-0413 ext. 100 to schedule a microchip appointment.