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Claiming impounded pets and looking for lost pets

If a lost pet is turned in to King County Animal Care and Control, or picked up by one of our Animal Care and Control Officers, we will try to identify the pet and call its owners. This is why pet licenses are so important, so we can reunite lost pets with their families. Lost animals are also scanned for microchips.

If the pet does not have ID, or if we cannot return it home right away, we will impound the animal and shelter it for safekeeping, to give you time to look for it.

Stray/unlicensed animals impounded will be held for 72 hours (120 for Normandy Park and Algona) to allow owners to redeem them. Licensed pets are held 5 days. When a licensed animal is impounded, we will attempt to return the animal home prior to its being taken to the animal shelter.

A recorded roster of impounded animals can be heard by calling 206-296-PETS (press 311 for dogs, 312 for cats). It remains the responsibility of the owner to locate missing pets. Pet owners are encouraged to visit the shelters and physically check for a missing pet.

Other suggestions include posting "lost pet" flyers in your area, canvassing your neighborhood and asking if anyone has seen your lost pet, and placing classified ads in local papers.

Some Web sites offer help in reuniting families with their lost pets. Consider posting an image of your lost pet on a site such as www.returnmypet.com or using an animal search site such as www.petharbor.com (external links).

For questions or comments, please call 206-296-3936 to reach the Kent shelter or 206-296-3940 for the Bellevue/Crossroads shelter, or e-mail pets@kingcounty.gov.