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What to do if you find a stray pet

If you've found a stray pet, take these steps to help the pet get home.

Check for any tags or stray markings

If you've found a rabies tag

Call the phone number provided on the tag or look up the facility listed. If you're not sure whom to call, contact the General Environmental Health Office at (625) 741-7206. 

If you found a microchip tag

It should have a long list of numbers and a company name. Contact the company and provide them with the number and they will find the current owner's information.

If you found a cat with a clipped ear

That cat has been Trapped, Neutered, and then Released (TNR). The clip will look like the tip has been cut off of just one ear. That cat likely belongs to that area as a residential community cat. 

If you found a cat with a tattoo on their stomach

That cat has been spayed and is likely owned by someone nearby. Check with the neighbors to see if they recognize it or take it to your local municipal shelter. 

Take the lost pet to a local municipal shelter

Local shelters will hold the pet for several days so the owner can find them. They will have a record of lost pets in the area and can reunite them with the owner if they have the information. Shelters and veterinarians can also scan the pet for a microchip, which may lead to the owner. If the owner is not found, the pet will be transferred over to their adoption floor and made available for the general public. 

Pet Placement Center is unable to take and hold strays. We can scan for a microchip and check our records for any lost-pet information, but the pet will need to be taken to a municipal shelter for stray-hold.

Here is a list of municipal shelters near Pet Placement Center:

  • Chattanooga City Limits, Red Bank, and Lakesite visit McKamey Animal Center.

  • ​Walden, Soddy Daisy, Collegedale, and unincorporated Hamilton County visit Humane Educational Society.

  • Town of Signal Mountain call Signal Mountain Police Department at (423) 886-2123.

  • Town of Lookout Mountain call Lookout Mountain Police Department at (423) 821-5131.

  • City of East Ridge visit East Ridge Animal Services.

If possible, house the pet until you find the owner

If you have the space in your home, you can house the pet while looking for the owner and give the shelter an extra kennel for those who can't. Notify your local shelter that you've found a lost pet and would like to hold on to the pet while looking for the owner. They may be able to work with you as a temporary foster home and that will give the shelter a little extra space for those who can't foster. 

If you plan to foster the pet while looking for the owner, check online Lost & Found pages through Facebook, Nextdoor, PawBoost, and more to find any lost pet posters. Let your local shelters and veterinarians know you found a pet and provide a description in case anyone comes by with that pet to surrender. Even the smallest idea can help reunite someone with their beloved companion. 

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