Did you find a stray cat or dog in your community? Here’s what you should do:
- Visit a local veterinary office or Dorchester Paws to have the pet scanned for a microchip.
- Visit Dorchester Paws and have someone look through recent lost pet reports to see if someone is looking for the pet you found.
- File a Found Pet Report at Dorchester Paws.
- Post flyers at local veterinary offices, pet shops and animal shelters.
- You can also try searching Craigslist Lost & Found or checking local lost pet pages on Facebook.
- Post the pet on Finding Rover 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.
Please check the listings below to see if one of these animals is potentially your missing pet! If they are not reclaimed by their owners, then these animals are available for adoption, reservation or transfer to rescue organizations.
Is your pet missing? Here’s what you should do:
- Check in person to see if your pet was turned in as a stray. This is the fastest way to ensure your pet returns home. You should check back every 2-3 days until you find your pet.
- File a Lost Pet Report. If you visit the shelter in person, we will have you fill one of these out before looking for your pet. This will help us keep an eye out if your pet is turned in later.
- If your pet is microchipped, contact the microchip company to ensure that your contact information is current.
- Post flyers around the area where your pet was lost. Be sure to include a color picture and date/area where they went missing.
- Keep an eye on Craigslist, Facebook and local newspapers.
- Post your pet on Finding Rover to reach a larger network.
- Check below to see if you spot you pet, again it is best to come in person as we get new animals in every day.
Please bring one of the following as proof of ownership: rabies certificate or other up to date veterinary records. To reclaim your animal, proof of ownership is required and all pets must leave in a vehicle, with dogs on a leash and cats in a carrier.
Stray animals with no microchip are held for 5 days. Stray animals with a microchip are held for 14 days before they may be adopted by a new family. It’s important to check back regularly.
There are fees to reclaim your pet, including a $25 per day room & board fee. Fees 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.
- 1st Offense: $75.00
- 2nd Offense: $125.00
- 3rd Offense: $200.00
- Room and Board: $25/day
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
One of these pets looks like mine! How do I reclaim my pet?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
I’m interested in adopting one of these pets!
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.
How do I reserve a pet?
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.
What are the adoption fees?
- Puppies- Under 7 months: $350 & up
- Adults- 7 months – 6 years: $175 & up
- Senior- Over 6 years: $60
- Kittens- Under 7 months: $100
- Adults- 7 months – 6 years: $75
- Senior- Over 6 years, FIV or FeLV+, & Barn Cats: $25
What if the pet is reclaimed by the owner after I reserved it?
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.