If You Find a Lost Pet
Baltimore County law requires that persons who find or otherwise come into possession of a lost or stray animal must turn the animal over to Animal Services within 24 hours of obtaining it. The Baltimore County Animal Shelter is the only shelter in Baltimore County that is authorized by law to hold lost animals for their owners. Therefore, owners have only one shelter to call or visit to find their pets.
When a Lost Pet Arrives at Our Shelter
When an animal comes into our shelter as a lost pet, the following occurs:
- The animal is checked for identification such as a tag or microchip.
- The animal is vaccinated and given a medical exam.
- The animal is photographed and placed on our lost pets page for three days.
After three days, including Saturdays and Sundays, any pet not claimed by its owner may be adopted out. For more information, contact us by calling 410-887-PAWS (7297).
Redeeming Your Pet
All redemptions are currently by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment by calling 410-887-PAWS (7297). 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 eighteen. ID can include: U.S. Passport or any state-issued driver's license, learner's permit, or non-driver ID card.
- Bring Proof of Ownership
Bring evidence the animal is yours. Evidence can include: 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.
If You Lost Your Pet
If you lost your pet, you may email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the shelter.
If your pet went missing in the Baltimore County area, view the photos on the lost pets page to see if your pet is at the shelter.
If your pet is pictured—Have their pet ID number ready and call 410-887-4797. Stray pets brought to Baltimore County Animal Services (BCAS) will be held at least 72 hours after the pet arrives. We strongly encourage you to promptly contact the shelter.
If your pet is not pictured—Complete the following form.
Other Lost Pet Resources
In addition to checking our list of lost pets, please also visit: