Found a pet? Please click here or scroll to the next section.
NOTE: Oakland Animal Services is aware that people who have lost pets have been contacted by scammers falsely claiming to be an OAS employee and asking for payment over the phone. If you are asked for payment online or over the phone by someone claiming to represent Oakland Animal Services, it is a scam and you should not pay. OAS will never ask for payment over the phone to retrieve your pet.
Lost your pet?
Losing a pet can be incredibly stressful, and Oakland Animal Services is here to help. Many people are reunited with their pets within the first 24 hours, but you have to act as soon as you can. Don’t wait, and follow these 8 basic steps below:
If your pet is microchipped, make sure your microchip information is up to date as soon as possible by calling the microchip company or agency where the chip was registered. Shelters and veterinarians scan the animal for a microchip as soon as the animals arrive so that they can contact the owner.
Check our Found Animals page. If you see your pet listed, come to the shelter. Check this page regularly because stray animals come in every day!
POST ONLINE! Post your lost pet on:
Also make sure to post on Nextdoor and Craigslist, as well as Facebook pages of local pet groups: Oakland Lost and Found Pets, Point Isabel Dog Owners (PIDO), North Oakland Dog Owners, Oakland Dog Owners Group (ODOG).
These community boards are not managed by OAS. Someone may post a found animal to these websites without bringing that animal to OAS.
Search the neighborhood and talk to your neighbors. Going door-to-door may provide clues in finding your lost animal. It is also important to search the neighborhood in the evenings, since pets become frightened and hide during the day.
If your pet is an indoor cat: When indoor cats become frightened or lost they like to find a hiding spot next to a nearby building. The cat is likely not to move from their spot until they get hungry.
If your pet is an indoor/outdoor cat: You should still follow the recommendations listed above, but you should also expand your search area to at least several miles from where it went missing. Lost cats often don’t come home because they are trapped or have an injury.
Contact all of the animal shelters in and around the area where your pet was lost and file a lost animal report with each shelter. Nearby shelters are:
- Berkeley Animal Care Services
- Hayward Animal Services
- Contra Costa Animal Services
- Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter
Check with your local veterinarians. Your lost pet may have been injured and brought to a clinic by a concerned resident.
Place posters in the area where the pet was lost. Include a photo and a description of your pet’s color, size, age, gender, and any special markings. List the date when your pet was lost and the nearest cross-streets to where the pet was last seen. Remember to remove the posters once your pet is found.
Email a completed Lost Animal Form and a recent photo of your lost pet to firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the subject “lost pet form” in your email. You can also come to the shelter with a photo and we can print it out for you. (Reporte de animales perdidos en español)
Don’t give up too soon! Many animals have been missing for weeks or months before being found or brought to a shelter. Keep checking the links above and keep asking around your community.
You can find more resources at Missing Pet Partnership.
When you find your pet, be sure to microchip your pet and place an animal license tag or ID tag on your pet’s collar. Always keep your contact information with the microchip company up to date!
IF YOUR PET IS TAKEN TO OAKLAND ANIMAL SERVICES
If the lost pet has no identification, the pet will be held in the shelter for a minimum of 4 business days, which must include a Saturday. After that period of time, the animal is legally the property of OAS and can be adopted or transferred to another organization.
For example, if a dog came in on Monday with no tag or microchip, he would be OAS’s property on Sunday and would be evaluated for adoption.
If the pet has an identification (tag or microchip), they will be held for 8 regular days while OAS tries to contact the owner.
Found a pet?
If you found kittens, please click here.
If you think you found an adult feral cat, please click here.
Thank you for helping a lost animal. If you found a stray pet, please bring the animal to the shelter during our open hours.
It is important that you bring the pet into the shelter so that we can get information about them and post to our found animals page on our website, which is where most pet owners look for their lost pets.
The law requires that you report any stray dog or cat that you find in the City of Oakland to Oakland Animal Services. While we encourage you to try and find the pet’s owner by calling the phone number on their tag, asking your neighbors, putting up flyers, posting on social media, scanning for a microchip (which can be done at any veterinary clinic or animal shelter), etc., you MUST also report the lost pet to Oakland Animal Services.
Are you able to hold onto the animal just a little longer? Depending on the situation, we may ask if you are willing to take the pet home with you while we try to locate the pet’s owner.
Be kind. A lost pet can become dirty or scruffy very fast, so it is important NOT to assume the pet was dumped or not loved and cared for by its family. It’s very likely the owners are looking for their pet and missing them, and the likelihood of finding the animal’s home is very high if you follow the instructions provided above.