Found Pet Services

Found Pet Services

You’re in your car having just picked up the kids from school and now heading to the store when you see her. This confused little dog with her nose to the ground, dodging traffic in search of something. We all know that on the other side of the story there most likely is a family missing their furry friend. But before you rescue any stray animal, there are a few tips that could mean the difference between an experience that brings you joy versus one that comes back to bite you, so to speak.

What do I do if I Find a Lost Pet?

1. Be cautious when approaching any animal. Animals may be scared and unsure of their surroundings and with unfamiliar people. Do not try to catch or handle an animal that seems scared or reactive. Many times, you may just be able to contain the animal in a fenced-in yard, garage, kennel, crate, or live trap without making physical contact.

2. Check for a license tag or other identification. If you can get close enough to read the tags, please try reaching the owner. Many ID tags include names and phone numbers. If the animal is wearing a rabies tag, contact the vet clinic listed – they can often put you in touch with his or her owner. License tags can similarly be used to find an owner by contacting the municipality that issued the license.

3. Check with your neighbors or the houses near where you found the animal. Although you may not recognize the pet, it could still belong to a neighbor, or your neighbors could be dog sitting.  Also, many animals don’t roam far from where they are lost so chances are someone in your area will recognize your new-found friend.

4. Get the pet scanned for a microchip. Your local vet clinic, humane society, or police station can often quickly scan a cat or dog and let you know if they have a microchip – a chip is permanent ID imbedded under the animal’s skin and is registered with the company who produced them. The microchip company should be able to give you the name and contact information for any chipped animal.

5. Search and post on social media. Social media is a great tool to help reunite lost pets with their families! Consider posting on sites like Facebook, Nextdoor, and Craigslist. You can also post on specific Facebook groups like Lost and Found groups in your community and neighborhood Facebook groups. You can also browse these sites for any posts from owners about their lost pet.

6. Call your local humane society to make a Found Report. You can make a Found Report with us at HSSW by calling us at 608-752-5622. We will ask you for the animal’s description and try to match it to any missing pet reports in our system. This is especially important if you choose to hold onto the pet for a short time while you try to reunite the pet with their family.

What if I Can’t Hold onto a Lost Pet or Find Their Owner?

If you can’t hold onto the lost animal or find its owner, and the pet was found in one of the municipalities below, we ask that you bring the pet to HSSW during our regular operating hours (8am-7pm M, Tu, Th, & F and 8am-5pm W, Sa, Su). If you need assistance with a contained pet found in one of the municipalities below, please call Rock County Dispatch at 608-757-2244. Because we are a non-profit organization and for safety and agency requirements, we aren’t able to pick up lost pets. However, Rock County Dispatch will be able to assist you with contacting the appropriate municipality leadership/police department to have them bring the pet to the HSSW. If you are unsure which municipality you found the pet in, please call HSSW at 608-752-5622 and we can look this up for you as long as you have an address of where you found the pet.

  • City of Beloit
  • Town of Beloit
  • City of Janesville
  • Town of Janesville
  • City of Milton
  • Town of Milton
  • City of Evansville
  • Town of Center
  • Village of Clinton
  • Town of Avon
  • Town of Fulton
  • Town of Rock
  • Village of Orfordville
  • Town of Harmony
  • Village of Footville
  • Town of Johnstown
  • Town of Lima
  • Town of Newark*
  • Town of Plymouth
  • Town of Porter
  • Town of Spring Valley
  • Town of Union
  • Town of La Prairie*

*Both the Town of Newark and the Town of LaPrairie demanded Dog-Only contracts with HSSW, meaning that only stray dogs found in those municipalities would be able to be brought to HSSW. In an effort to not leave cats in those municipalities without any resources, we offered a $100 ‘Stray Fee’ so that we did not have to totally turn those community members who find stray cats in those municipalities away. We encourage any residents of those two municipalities who disagree with this decision made by the Town of Newark and Town of LaPrairie to contact their Town Boards. 

If you can’t hold onto the lost animal or find its owner, and the pet was NOT found in one of the municipalities above, we are unable to take that pet in at HSSW as described above. Instead, you can contact the following organizations/community leaders based on which municipality the pet was found in.

  1. Town of Bradford – Contact Chairperson David Moyer at 608-774-0136.
  2. Town of Clinton – Contact Chairperson Sharon Masek at 715-651-5972.
  3. Town of Magnolia – Contact Chairperson Kurt Bartlett at 608-333-4654.
  4. Town of Turtle – Contact Chairperson Roger Anclam at 608-368-0475.
  5. City of Edgerton – Contact the Edgerton Police Department at 608-884-3321.
  6. Dane County – Contact the Dane County Humane Society at 608-838-0413 or visit to learn more.
  7. Green County – Contact your local law enforcement in Green County or visit for more information.
  8. Jefferson County – Contact the Humane Society of Jefferson County at 920-674-2048 or visit to learn more.
  9. Walworth County – Contact Lakeland Animal Shelter at 262-723-1000 or visit for more information.

What do I do if I Found a Wild Animal?

It’s spring and you see a tiny bird on the ground. Or an opossum who appears to be staggering. Since many wild animals that appear injured or abandoned are often only exhibiting defense mechanisms, we recommend leaving it alone for at least 24 hours. The bird, for example, might just be fledging and starting its journey out of the nest. That opossum? She might just be coming out of playing dead. Wild animals require a certain level of expertise and must be cared for by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian. At this time, the Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin simply doesn’t have the proper facilities or staff to care for wild animals. Instead you can contact Fellow Mortals by phone at (262) 248-5055 or visit their website at Or you can contact Dane County Humane Society by phone at (608) 287-3235 or visit their website at

Above all, we thank you for caring about lost, homeless, and wild animals. A comfortable, warm pet bed, a feathery nest, or a safe pile of timber, no matter the dwelling our aim is the same: helping animals in need.