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Missoula, MT 59808
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Lost and Found Pet info

If you have lost an animal:
Please follow these steps:

1. Call the Shelter at (406) 549-3934 or email us and report your pet missing. Do not wait a few days and see if the pet shows up first. After 96 hours in the shelter, the animal is the property of MHS and will be available for adoption. Many an owner has come to the shelter only to find their pet went to a new home. Adoptions are final. New adoptees of unclaimed strays will not be contacted to return a pet if the real owner shows up. As a general rule, once your pet has been missing overnight, please call the shelter as soon as possible.

2. Go to the shelter and look at all the animals. It is not possible in many cases to confirm a pet's identity over the phone because no two people describe an animal the same way. One picture is worth a thousand words. Be sure and tell a staff member the purpose of your visit because sick or injured animals may be at a vet clinic or in a room not visible to the general public. Dogs may also be outside on break in the dog runs. If your pet is not there, make sure you fill out a lost pet report at the desk if you have not already done so. Please bring us a picture of your pet. We will notify you as soon as anyone calls or brings in any possible match. After your initial visit, we recommend shelter visits 2 to 3 times a week in order to view all strays received or check the pictures and daily admissions via this site. Most pets are found within the first week, but reunions may occur at any time. Our longest term dog reunion is four months although we know of a two year reunion that occurred in Helena. Our longest term cat reunion is 18 months. Don't give up!

3. Call the Missoulian at (406)721-6200 and ask for the Classified Department. They will run a free 3 day ad. Check the lost and found column in the newspaper every day for a list of all new strays at the shelter. Also call the Missoula Independent at 543-6609

4. Post pictures of your pet at convenience stores, telephone poles, grocery stores, and mailboxes near the location your animal was lost.

We encourage you to confirm with us twice a week for a few weeks that your lost pet is still missing, then weekly for up to 3 mos. Our answering machine is on during the evening for your convenience or you may email us via this site. Please give both the pet's name and your name when you call or write in case we have more than one animal with the same name or in case the person who called in the lost report has a different name than you. We keep lost pets on our active list for 3 months, or even longer if you request.

It is equally important to notify us when your pet is found. Keeping our lost list current facilitates match ups. We take 75-100 lost reports a month and doing follow-up phone calls is extremely time consuming for volunteers. When people forget or don't answer our follow-up calls, this doubles the time factor. Please be considerate of our volunteers' time.

Once your pet is safely home please take the proper precautions to prevent a recurrence. All dogs and cats need a collar with current ID. Both can be purchased at the shelter. Collars without tags won't help us find you. A rabies tag alone is often insufficient also, i.e. if your vet clinic is closed, we won't be able to access the owner information until the next working day. The same applies to a city license tag. Also many vet clinics do not keep owner information on file once the tag is outdated. Many pets with collars and/or only rabies tags are unable to be returned to owners. Ask your vet about micro-chipping.

Please help us help you. Protect your pet with proper I.D.

Good luck. If we can be of further assistance, please call us at (406)549-3934

If you have found an animal:
Follow these instructions:

1. Call the shelter or email us via this site. If you leave a message on the shelter answering machine, be sure and tell us how to reach you. Speak slowly and clearly. Many reports are left without names or phone numbers on the machine after hours, thus we have no way to facilitate a match up. Do not "wait a few days to see if it finds its way home". The pet may be killed or injured. Call us first. The owner may be sitting by the phone this moment just waiting for your call. Please do not hang up without leaving a "found report" if we don't know the owner at the time of your call. Our next phone call at the shelter may be just that person. If you do not leave a report we won't know how to contact you.

2. Next you must decide what to do with the stray. There are several options. You may keep the animal at your house, while we look for the owner. You may call the city or county animal control officer during working hours at (406)523-4785 to pick the animal up and take it to the shelter. You may also take the animal to the shelter yourself during working hours. If it is after hours, you may call the city police to meet you at the shelter and they will impound the animal for you. If you surrender the animal, be sure and give a very specific location where it was found. The police number is (406)523-4777.

3. If you keep the animal with you, the next step is to call the Missoulian at (406)721-6200 and ask for the Classified Department. They will run a free 3 day ad. Please read the lost and found section in the Missoulian every day in case the owner has placed a lost report.

4. Found pet postings at the convenience stores, telephone poles, and mail boxes closest to the location the animal was found are quite successful.

5. Please call us when the matter is resolved. We like to know when you returned the pet, lost the pet, placed the pet, or kept it yourself. This helps us keep our files current. The answering machine is available after hours at the shelter for this purpose or you may email us.

Good luck. If we can be of further assistance, please call us at (406)549-3934.



Missoula Humane Society • 1105 Clark Fork Drive, Missoula, Montana 59808 • 406-549-3934