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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. You should know that 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

We highly recommend all of the following steps in order for you to find your missing animal:

  1. Our kennels are open seven days per week, we are closed on all major holidays and the kennel area closes 15 minutes prior to the shelter closure. You should check our kennels as often as possible. Be sure to talk to the kennel staff and let them know what kind of animal you are looking for.

  2. Once you have thoroughly checked the kennel area, you should go to the administration office and log a complete description of your animal into our lost and found book. It is vital for you to leave your name and phone number. ALWAYS check the found animal book at our front counter. You must 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.

  3. It is most helpful if you can provide a photograph of your pet. We can post the photo in our book. (Photos cannot always be returned or may become lost or stolen).

  4. Make fliers or posters and circulate them with your neighbors (Please know 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 delivery people from your neighborhood and ask for their help in finding your pet.

  5. We also recommend that you check with local Veterinary Hospitals and be sure to leave a detailed description of your lost pet .

  6. 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 either direction and you should visit other nearby shelters.

  7. Our administration office will provide you with a list of other local shelters. 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.