Cape Cod ACAC

Lost and Found Pet Information

If your pet becomes lost, don’t give up. How carefully you search and how persistent and resourceful you are can determine whether or not your pet will be found. Below are some tips and resources you can use to help find your lost pet. The MSPCA receives several "stray" animals each day.  In Massachusetts, stray dogs are required to be held from 7-10 days, depending on the town, for a "stray holding period." If your dog is missing, ALWAYS contact your local Animal Control Officer.  However, there is no "stray holding period" law for other animals, including cats, so the best way to find your pet is to contact us as soon as you notice your pet is missing

Our Contact Information

To report a lost or found pet, please contact us at 508-774-0940 or by email.  You can also come in anytime during our opens hours to see if your pet was brought to us.  Click here if you have found an animal.

How The MSPCA Can Help

Every year, the MSPCA receives hundreds of stray animals, so the more information you can provide, the more likely we will be able to identify if your pet was brought to us.  Please have the below information ready when you contact us. The MSPCA does not have any minimum holding period, so you should contact us as soon as you notice your pet is missing. If it has been weeks since your cat went missing before you report it, we cannot always 100% verify whether or not your cat had been in our care if they were already adopted.  When we are informed that a pet is missing, we create a "lost report" and see if there are any animals who match your pet's description.  If not, we keep the lost report on file and continuing checking them when we receive stray animals.  Every stray dog and cat is scanned for a microchip upon intake.

What Information You Will Need

The more information we have on your pet, the better we are able to match stray animals that are brought to us with your missing pet.  Please be prepared to leave the following information about your pet when you contact us:

  • Breed (ex: Lab, Domestic Short-hair) and purebred/mixed status on dogs
  • Color pattern (click here to see cat colors and breeds)
  • Age and size
  • Gender, including if they are or are not spayed/neutered
  • Any distinctive markings your pet may have, including color markings, eye/nose color, scars and hair length
  • If they were or were not wearing a collar/tags or have a microchip
  • Where they were last seen (town, street name)
  • When they were last seen
  • Your name and phone number
  • Picture of your pet

Providing a picture of your pet will significantly increase our chances of matching an animal brought to us as yours.  We STRONGLY recommend that you email or bring in a picture of your pet.  Many pets have the same basic description (i.e. black and white cats can look entirely different from one another); however, only a picture will exactly show your pet's distinct features.

Lost Pet Tips

1. Post flyers (preferably with a picture) in your neighborhood as well as surrounding neighborhoods.  Some cats have been known to travel miles away from home.

2. Contact local shelters and animal control to leave a report.  If your pet has a microchip, contact the microchip company.

3. Ask neighbors to help.  For missing cats, have neighbors look on their property, especially in garages, under porches, and in other small, dark spaces.

4. Place ads in the newspaper or online.

5. For cats, try setting up a temporary "care station" with food, water, and bedding.  Leaving items with their scent on it may attract the cat back home.

Click here to learn more tips on what to do

The adoption center also rents out humane Hav-a-hart traps, which helps if your cat may be scared ($50 deposit which will be refunded when the trap is returned).  To rent a trap, please visit the adoption center during open hours.  *Note: these traps are meant to be used with cats only, not wildlife.

Other Places To Contact

Lost or Found Dogs (and sometimes Cats)

Barnstable Animal Control 508-790-6274
Dennis Animal Control 508-394-1315
Yarmouth Animal Control 508-394-4422
Bourne Animal Control 508-759-0623
Falmouth Animal Control 508-457-2552
Mashpee Animal Control 508-539-1442
Sandwich Animal Control 508-833-8004
Chatham Animal Control 508-945-1213
Harwich Animal Control 508-430-7541

Lost or Found Cats

NESAA (Barnstable) 508-771-7800
Animal Rescue League (Brewster) 508-255-1030
People for Cats (Falmouth) 508-540-5654

Microchip Companies

Home Again 1-888-466-3242,
AVID 1-800-434-2843
AKC Companion Animal Recovery 1-800-252-7894
24 Pet Watch 1-866-597-2424

Preventing the Loss of Your Pet

Losing a pet is a stressful experience. Ensure your pet's safe return by following some simple steps:

  • Make sure your pet is always wearing a collar and ID tags with up-to-date contact information
  • Microchip your pet in case they slip out of their collar
  • Having your pet spayed/neutered will make them less likely to run away
  • Keep your cat strictly indoors.  They are healthier, happier and live longer.

Click here for more information