Found an animal?

Did you find a stray cat or dog in your community? Here’s what you should do:

  1. Visit a local veterinary office or Dorchester Paws to have the pet scanned for a microchip.
  2. Visit Dorchester Paws and have someone look through recent lost pet reports to see if someone is looking for the pet you found.
  3. File a Found Pet Report at Dorchester Paws.
  4. Post flyers at local veterinary offices, pet shops and animal shelters.
  5. You can also try searching Craigslist Lost & Found or checking local lost pet pages on Facebook.
  6. Post the pet on Petco Love Lost Pet Page to reach a larger network.

If you are unable to care for the pet that you’ve found while you try to find its owner, stray pets can be turned in to Dorchester Paws during our hours of operation for admissions. Please note, our Pet Support Services Department is closed on Sundays for any strays or animals found.

Leaving a Found Pet at Dorchester Paws

When you arrive at Dorchester Paws, please enter our Pet Support Services Department through the front of the building. Our staff will ask you questions about where and when the animal was found, explain the admitting process and how you can further assist finding the pet’s home.

If the animal appears sick, injured or aggressive, please call Dorchester County Animal Control immediately at (843) 563-0015.

Do not leave an animal at Dorchester Paws after hours. If you are unable to care for a pet you have found until morning, please call Dorchester County Animal Control.

Lost pets currently at our shelter:

Please note, the animals have been renamed if brought in as a stray.

Frequently Asked Questions

If one of these pets looks like it could potentially be your missing pet, please come to the shelter to fill out a lost pet report and do a walk-through to see if it is your pet.

Reclaims must be done in person at the shelter. Please bring a valid form of photo ID, vet records and pictures of the animal to prove your ownership.

There are fees to reclaim your pet, which vary depending on how your animal was brought to the shelter, length of stay and procedures required by law prior to being released from custody.

If you have any questions, you can contact or call daily between the hours of 12-5 p.m. Please note that the fastest way to reach us is by coming down in person.

These pets are on 5 day stray holds in hopes of giving their owners time to find and reclaim them. If they are not reclaimed by their owners or transferred to a rescue organization, then they are available to adopt! You can reserve a pet through our R³ program.

In order to reserve the pet, you must pay the full adoption fee. As soon as the pet is spayed/neutered, you will be notified to pick them up! Pets must be picked up within 36 hours, or the adoption fee will be considered a donation. THIS MUST BE DONE IN PERSON ONLY AT THE SHELTER.


  • Puppies- Under 6  months: $300 & up
  • Adults- 6 months – under 7 years: $125 & up
  • Senior- Over 7 years: $50


  • Kittens- Under 6 months: $100
  • Adults- 6 months – under 7 years: $50
  • Senior- Over 7 years, FIV or FeLV+, & Barn Cats: $25

You reserve a pet by either filling out an application online or at the shelter. Once the application is approved by an  adoption counselor you will be able to meet the animal(s) to make sure it is a good fit for you and the animal(s). If all goes well and is approved the animal(s) can be reserved by paying the full adoption fee up front for the animal. This guarantees the animal(s) is yours after the stray hold is over and contingent upon the animal(s) not being reclaimed. You will be given the first available date the animal(s) can be spayed/neutered and are able to pick the animal(s) up the day after surgery. If the animal(s) is reclaimed you will be contacted and your adoption fee refunded.