Not every tip will be useful for every situation/animal, but please read below and see what might be helpful for you.


  • Please contact us immediately if you think your animal might be at our shelter. Stray animals are typically held for 4-7 days before being placed up for adoption.
  • If you have found an animal, please take the animal to a vet clinic so that it can be scanned for a microchip and its age, sex, and breed can be determined. This information is the most crucial in matching a pet to an owner.

Looking for your cat? Check here:


Looking for your dog? Check here:


Looking for another animal? Check here:


Found an animal? Can you match it up with these lost reports?

1. Report your pet lost with the stray holding facility in your area (for Washtenaw County and Plymouth, it’s HSHV). The more thorough and accurate you are, the more likely they are to make a match. A wrong breed or color can lead to a missed match! See these sites for help: Dog Breed list by PetFinder /Cat Breed/Color Guide . Include a photo of your pet if possible.

2. Begin looking immediately. Don’t assume that your animal will come to you because they recognize you. If they are nervous or scared, they will most likely remain where they feel safe (i.e., hidden), and cats are especially good at hiding. Check under bushes, cars, decks and porches; in garages, sheds and wood piles, etc.

  • Consider your individual animal’s habits, likes and dislikes in looking for him/her. Lost a cat? Check this first. There are different considerations depending on whether your cat is indoor-only, or indoor-outdoor!
  • Try looking during quiet times (early morning, late evening); you are more likely to hear any responses from your animal.
  • Where possible, set live humane traps. Make sure you are using a trap large enough for your animal. Use things like tuna or smelly canned cat food as bait. Please make sure to check the trap at least every 12 hours, or at the very minimum every 24-hours as required by state law. If you catch an animal other than your own, release it immediately. If your are uncomfortable releasing wildlife caught in the trap you can call HSHV’s affordable Humane Wildlife Removal service for assistance at (734) 661-3512. For information on renting a live trap from HSHV, please call our vet clinic at (734) 662-4365.


3. Spread the word about your lost pet. The more people who are aware of your lost animal, the better!

  • Talk with neighbors.
  • Post fliers in your neighborhood and on local billboards (e.g., pet stores, churches, meeting halls, libraries, laundry mats). Include the animal’s name, age, size, breed, color, photo, the area where the pet went missing (city, major crossroads, etc.) and your contact info.

Create a free lost pet flyer



The links below have excellent, more specific tips on where to search: