I Found a Pet
The law requires you to complete specific tasks with 24 and 72 hours.
I Lost a Pet
Complete a lost pet report and check our lost pet listings.
Community members can submit or view lost and found pet reports via Baltimore County Citizens Access. Check these reports frequently while searching for a pet that you have either lost or found in Baltimore County. Contact information for owners/finders as well as animal information may be found under the record info of each report.
Important Note: This reporting system is intended to enable community members to reunite pets and owners by sharing lost or found pet information, rather than coming to Baltimore County Animal Services. These reports are not actively monitored by Baltimore County Animal Services (BCAS).View or Submit Lost or Found Pet Reports
Baltimore County law requires that persons who find or otherwise come into possession of a lost or stray animal must:
- Within 24 hours—Make a found animal report to BCAS. This should include the finder’s information, animals’ description, and the date and location the animal was found.
- Within 72 hours—Turn the animal over to BCAS. If you are unable to reunify the found pet with its owner after 72 hours or if you're unable to hold the animal, stray and found animals can be brought to our Baldwin facility during open hours. While in possession of a stray animal, the finder should actively attempt to locate and reunite the animal with its owner for the next 72 hours by following the steps below.
Check for ID or a Microchip
Check the animal for forms of ID, such as tags, tattoos or a microchip. To see if an animal has a microchip, contact a local veterinary office to see if they are able to scan the pet for a microchip or visit a BCAS community microchip scan station.
Microchip scan stations are located in five parks throughout Baltimore County:
- Banneker Community Center
27 Main Avenue
Catonsville, Maryland 21228
- Dundalk Spay and Neuter Center
Dundalk, Maryland 21222
- Stembridge Community Center
99a Stemmers Run Road
Essex, Maryland 21221
- Northeast Regional Recreation Center
7501 Oakleigh Road
Parkville, Maryland 21234
- BARC Park
Reisterstown, Maryland 21136
These scan stations allow finders to scan lost or stray pets for a microchip, follow the instructions on the corresponding website accessed by QR code and reunite lost pets often without bringing them into the shelter. Residents can also use the site to ensure their pet is microchipped, learn their pet’s microchip number and find out how to register their microchip.
- Press the red button to power the scanner on.
- Still pressing the red button continuously, hold the scanner with the red “scanning” sensor pointed down toward the pet and begin slowly scanning the animals back, starting at the neck working your way all the way down to the pet’s tail, in an S-shaped pattern. Learn more about the scanning process and pattern. (PDF)
- If no chip is found—Follow the same S shape along both sides of the animal’s body.
- If a chip is found—The scanner will beep and display the chip number on the screen. Write down the chip number exactly as displayed
- Visit the AAHA's Universal Pet Microchip Lookup website and type in the 9, 10 or 15-digit microchip number (no spaces or punctuation) to get a list of registries to contact to find pet owner information.
- Starting with the first company (the most recent registry), call or visit each company on the “microchip enrolled with” list to file a found pet report and see if that is the registry that has the pet owner information.
Post about the animal on social media, create lost/found flyers or share the information to other public platforms, such as:
- Baltimore County community associations
- Other lost/found pet reporting websites
- Petco Love Lost national database
- Submit a found pet report
If your pet went missing in the Baltimore County area:
- Complete a lost pet report
- Check our lost pets at the shelter listings daily to determine if your pet is at the shelter. We strongly encourage you to promptly contact the shelter.
- If your pet is microchipped, ensure the information is up to date.
- Contact other local shelters
- Share your pet's details locally and online
If Your Pet Has Been Found
- If your pet is at the shelter—Have their pet ID number ready and call 410-887-4797. When an animal comes into our shelter as a lost pet, the animal will be:
- Held at least 72 hours after the pet arrives. After three days, including Saturdays and Sundays, any pet not claimed by its owner may be adopted out. For more information, call 410-887-PAWS.
- Photographed and placed on our lost pets page for three days.
- Vaccinated and given a medical exam.
- Checked for identification such as a tag or microchip.
- If your pet was found by a community member—Use the contact information available on the found pet report to connect with the finder.
Redeeming Your Pet
All redemptions are currently by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment by calling 410-887-PAWS. In accordance with Baltimore County law, in order to reclaim your pet from the Baltimore County Animal Shelter you must:
- Bring Identification
Bring a valid picture ID showing you are over 18. ID can include a U.S. Passport or any state-issued driver's license, learner's permit or a nondriver ID card.
- Bring Proof of Ownership
Bring evidence the animal is yours. Evidence can include a microchip, BCAS records, veterinarian records, adoption or breeder's paperwork.
- Pay Fees
Pay all fees and violations.
- Provide Proof of Vaccination
Provide proof of up-to-date rabies vaccination as required by law. If you cannot provide proof then one will be administered at the owner’s expense.
- Provide Proof of Pet License
Baltimore County residents must provide proof of a current Baltimore County Pet License. If proof cannot be provided, a pet license will be issued at the owner’s expense.
- Other Requirements
If the pet does not currently have a microchip, the shelter will insert one at the division’s expense.
If the pet is not currently spayed or neutered, the shelter will do so at the division’s expense. The owner will be required to sign a surgical form prior to the procedure.
Other Lost Pet Resources
- Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS)
- Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)—This online platform uses facial recognition tools to match lost and found pets.
- Baltimore Humane Society