Found a Pet?

NOTE: San Antonio Residents bringing in a lost pet must provide identification and pets must be leashed or in an appropriate carrier. Animals will only be accepted at the shelter if space is available.

Our Animal Care Services (ACS) Intake Staff is able to reunite a found pet with its owner or find an additional home in case they cannot locate its owner. Because of overpopulation and kennel capacity, it is helpful if you are able to hold onto the pet ahead of time.

Taking an Animal In

If you are able to take an animal in for a for days, follow these steps:

  1. Visit our Find My Council Member page to verify city residency. ACS can only provide services to residents within City limits.
  2. Complete our Stray Pet Form. This will allow us to network the pet through our Diversion program.

Residents living in the following municipalities will need to contact their local government authority for the handling of stray pets: 

  • Alamo Heights
  • Balcones Heights
  • Castle Hills
  • Converse
  • Helotes
  • Hill Country Village
  • JBSA Ft. Sam Houston
  • JBSA Lackland
  • JBSA Randolph
  • Kirby
  • Live Oak
  • Olmos Park
  • Schertz
  • Selma
  • Terrell Hills
  • Unincorporated Bexar County
  • Universal City
  • Windcrest

Other Steps

In addition to the steps for taking an animal in, you can also consider the following:

  • Take the pet to the nearest veterinary clinic, animal shelter, or spay/neuter clinic to scan the pet for a microchip. Contact the pet's owner and report the pet was found.
  • Check out Lost Dogs of Texas on Facebook to create a free flyer and post on social media
  • Post flyers in your neighborhood
  • Shelters in the area to see if they have space for the pet
  • Nextdoor or Craigslist to advertise pet
  • Check the ACS Lost & Found Pet Network FB page

San Antonio Residents bringing in a lost pet must provide identification and pets must be leashed or in an appropriate carrier. Animals will only be accepted at the shelter if space is available.

If You Find a Litter of Puppies or Kittens

Please make every effort to locate “Mom.” Because nursing moms may try to feed more than usual, litters are often found seemingly abandoned, when in fact, their parent is gathering food. Because ACS often sees this with kittens, this educational video was made. It's about kittens but the info applies for pups too. Before bringing these litters of puppies or kittens into the shelter, observe the found litter untouched for a period of several hours to see if “Mom” returns.

Mom & Kitten Litters

In order to maintain adequate levels of humane housing, ACS will not intake healthy, nursing Moms with kittens that are under 2 pounds. The varying stress factors associated with a shelter environment is not conducive for maintaining the health and temperament of mom and babies. ACS may be able to provide assistance with food and medical, if you are able to care for and properly contain the family until the kittens are ready for adoption (approximately 2 pounds).

Neonate Kittens

Any healthy, presumed orphaned kitten under 2 pounds will only be taken in by ACS on a case-by-case basis. If kittens are warm, have full bellies, are alert, and healthy we will assume that the mom is nearby and is taking care of them. The citizen will be asked to return the kittens to where they were found and place some food with them and monitor to allow Mom the chance to return safely. If the food is eaten, most likely, Mom is nearby. If the mom does not care for the kittens in 18 hours, the citizen may bring the kittens in.

Outdoor Cats

Any healthy, unsterilized cat that was found living primarily outdoors will be sterilized, ear-notched, and may be returned to the community. This determination is made by ACS and not the citizen bringing in the cat. If you have a found and are able to contain a known and unsocial adult cat, please visit the Trap-Neuter-Return page for more information about the ACS Community Cat Program and other available options.

NOTE: Abandoned pets under 4 months of age and owner surrendered pets have no guaranteed hold time and as such, they may be dispositioned immediately upon intake.

Found Wildlife or an Exotic Animal (Non-Dog or Cat)?

ACS is able to bring in to the shelter owner surrendered chickens, rabbits, hamsters/gerbils, and birds provided they are in appropriate housing and will follow regular current owner surrender guidelines regarding City residency and applicable fees. We encourage owners of these types of pets to bring any remaining food as we may not always have the appropriate food available.

ACS does not take in stray or owner surrender wildlife (such as opossums, naked mole rats, etc.). Please visit our Wildlife page to find additional resources regarding wildlife and non-domesticated animals.