Lost Pet Help
I've Lost My Pet, What Do I Do?
The Mission Viejo Animal Services Center handles approximately 3,000 animals each year. Because of this large number of animals, it is very difficult to assist owners who are looking for their animals over the phone. Stray untagged animals are held for a period of five working days (10 days if the animal is wearing a required license or other traceable identification). Unclaimed adoptable animals are made available to the public through our adoption program.
Lost Pets Search
- Use our Lost Pet Search to see whether your lost pet is currently in our animal shelter.
- Use the Maximum Search for other nearby shelters.
We highly recommend all of the following steps in order for you to find your missing animal:
Check our kennels as often as possible. The kennels are open seven days per week and are closed on all major holidays. The kennel area closes 15 minutes prior to the Center's closure. Talk to the kennel staff and let them know what kind of animal you are looking for.
Once you have thoroughly checked the kennel area, go to the administration office and log a complete description of your animal in the lost and found book. It is vital for you to leave your name and phone number. Always check the lost and found animal book at the front counter. You can not rely on staff or volunteers to check for you. Only you will know the area surrounding your home, or the location where you pet was lost.
It is most helpful if you provide a photograph of your pet. We can post the photo in our lost and found book. Please note, photos cannot always be returned or may become lost or stolen.
Make fliers or posters and circulate them with your neighbors. Please note that it is unlawful for you to put such material inside a mailbox or tacked to trees or poles on private property. Contact your mail carrier, meter-reader and other delivery people from your neighborhood and ask for their help in finding your pet.
Check with local veterinary hospitals. Be sure to leave a detailed description and photo of your lost pet.
It is not uncommon for a lost pet to wander for several miles, or to be picked up by someone from another city. You should expand your search for at least seven blocks in all directions, and you should visit other nearby shelters.
Our administration office can provide you with a list of other local shelters, however you need to visit this shelter in person. As stated before, it is very difficult for any shelter staff or volunteer to help over the phone.
DON’T GIVE UP! Many animals are reunited with their owner’s weeks after becoming lost.