Animal Care Services Warns of Lost Pets Scam

Published on July 27, 2023

City of San Antonio Animal Care Services Department   

SAN ANTONIO (July 27, 2023) – It’s something no responsible pet owner wants to think about—their beloved pet getting lost. Unfortunately, San AntonioAnimal Care Services (ACS) has become aware of a new scam targeting grieving pet parents searching for their lost companion animals.

This week, a local resident was called by someone pretending to be an ACS employee stating this resident’s lost dogs had been brought into the shelter requiring extensive medical assistance. The individual gave the owner a fake name and a Venmo link to pre-pay reclaim fees for the veterinary care the animals received while in ACS care. Fortunately, the resident felt something did not add up and rather than sending money, she called the municipal shelter who informed her of the fraud and encouraged her to keep looking for her pets who have not yet been found. 

In the wake of the would-be scam, ACS stresses that the municipal shelter never asks for reclaim fees or payments over the phone or through peer-to-peer digital payment networks like Venmo, Zelle, or CashApp. Additionally, pet parents searching for their lost dog or cat should be wary of anyone who calls saying they have found the pet but will only return the animal once they have received an upfront cash reward or money is forwarded to their account.

If a resident believes they are a victim of a scam, the San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) encourages reporting the incident by calling the SAPD Non-Emergency number at 210-207-7273.

Pet owners should follow the tips below when searching for lost pets:

·        Check the ACS pet listings at which is updated hourly as pets are brought into the shelter. The shelter’s kennels are open seven days a week for anyone searching for their lost pet.  

·        In addition to posting flyers in your area, consider placing ads in your neighborhood Facebook group, and on Nextdoor and Craigslist. 

·        Put only a partial description of your pet in any lost ads so you can have callers fully describe your pet to you. 

·        When posting an ad, choose to include the vicinity or street on which your pet was lost instead of your home address.

·        Call your pet's microchip manufacturer and report your pet as lost.

·        Go to Lost Dogs of Texas on Facebook and the website to create a free flyer and post on social media.