Lost Pets

Lost and found pets

The Seattle Animal Shelter handles all lost pets within the Seattle city limits. If you live outside the city or near the city's borders, contact other shelters in your area. If you're not sure, check the address on King County Parcel Viewer; if the jurisdiction says "Seattle," it is within city limits.

My pet is at the Seattle Animal Shelter

If you believe your pet is at the shelter, please call us at 206-386-7387 (PETS) to make an appointment. When you come to reclaim your pet, please bring a form of photo ID and proof of ownership, and be prepared to pay applicable redemption fees. While we love caring for the animals here, we would like this to be your pet's first and only visit to us! Review our Lost Pet Prevention tips to keep your pet safely at home.

If you lost a pet, use the methods below to aid in your search.

  • Check our website: View found pets at the shelter as well as animals available for adoption. If you do not have consistent internet access, you may listen to our Lost Pet Hotline by calling (206) 386-7387 and choosing the appropriate option. The lost pet hotline is recorded each evening and includes pets detained at the shelter in the last 48 hours.
  • Update microchip information: If your pet is microchipped, call the company and report your pet as lost, and make sure your contact information is updated and accurate.
  • Update license information: If your pet has a Seattle pet license call us at (206) 386-4262 between 1pm and 6pm and staff can help you make sure your contact information is correct. 
  • Visit the Mission Reunite website: This site provides specific, in-depth tips and techniques for creating a search plan based on your pet's personality and behavior, as well as excellent guidelines for producing effective lost posters and fliers.
  • Search and post online: Craigslist is the most commonly used website for posting lost and found pets, but we've found that neighborhood blogs and groups are also very helpful. Here are several that we know have been effective in returning lost pets to their homes:
  • Search and post in person:
    • Create an eye-catching flier with a good photograph of the animal and your contact information. (Visit the Mission Reunite for tips.)
    • Post fliers at local veterinarians' offices, stores that allow community posts and at the Seattle Animal Shelter.
    • Give fliers to mail carriers and delivery persons, and go door-to-door in the area where the pet was lost.
  • Contact other shelters: While animals found in Seattle should be brought to the Seattle Animal Shelter, it is possible your pet could have been taken to another local shelter. If your pet was lost anywhere near the border with Shoreline, Burien or King County, you should check with other shelters.

All pets found in Seattle should be brought to the Seattle Animal Shelter. While we understand and appreciate the desire to keep a found pet at your home to avoid the stresses of the shelter, we believe the pet's best chance of being reunited with its owner is by coming in to the shelter. Here are several reasons why we believe this is the best practice:

  • One-stop shop: The Seattle Animal Shelter is the only shelter for the city. This means that if someone has lost his or her pet within or near city limits, he or she will come here to look. While photographs are helpful, they are no replacement for seeing the animal in person. Bringing the pet here greatly increases its chances of being reunited.
  • Microchip scanner: While you can take a pet to a local veterinarian to have it scanned for a microchip, not all veterinarians have a universal microchip scanner and therefore cannot scan for all different microchip types. The Seattle Animal Shelter thoroughly scans each animal upon intake with a universal scanner, which reads most, if not all, microchips in use.
  • Proper animal care: Bringing a found pet to the shelter ensures it will receive the most professional care possible, including appropriate, nutritious food, fresh water, a clean bed and kennel, interaction and enrichment from staff and volunteers and a veterinarian checkup, if needed. Found pets will also be fully vaccinated upon intake and microchipped and licensed before leaving the shelter.
  • Welfare and enforcement follow-ups: If you've found an animal that is in poor condition or otherwise have concerns about the animal's health and well-being, staff can follow up with any owner that comes forward, escalating to enforcement (Animal Control), if necessary. These types of cases are typically the strongest when a shelter veterinarian and/or shelter staff have personally observed the condition, so bringing them in is key to building a solid case.
  • Behavior evaluations and training: Animals at the shelter are evaluated by our trained staff before being placed up for adoption. Pets with behavior issues may be placed into foster homes or paired with a professional behaviorist to get them ready for adoption. Adoption staff will then work to pair the animal with the best possible adopter to reduce returns or problems in the home.