If you have found a stray pet, be sure to take the following steps to try to find the pet’s family:

  • File a found report with Frederick County Animal Control (call 301-600-1546, option 0, or email animalcontrol@frederickcountymd.gov and other shelters if found near a county line.
  • Have the pet scanned for a microchip. Any vet should be able to do this.
  • Post the pet as “found” on the “Lost and Found Pets in and near Frederick County, MD” Facebook page (and/or other appropriate lost/found facebook pages), on Nextdoor.com, and on Pawboost.com or similar websites for lost/found pets. 
  • Make and post flyers in the neighborhood where found (and email them to vet offices). 

We recommend bringing stray animals to the shelter (Frederick County Animal Control if the pet is found within this county). People who have lost a pet generally look for their pet at their local shelter. Shelter staff will do their best to find the pet’s owners; if they are unable to find the owners, they will evaluate the pet’s health and temperament to determine whether they can place him/her up for adoption. 

If you do keep the animal for any period of time, be sure to keep them separate from your own pets for at least 10 days (as a quarantine period) and, in that time, take them to a vet to ensure that they are healthy and unlikely to transmit a contagious illness to your pets. Separation will also help minimize stress for the found animal and your own pets, who will need time to adjust to each other.

If you cannot separate the found animal from your pets; provide healthy food, fresh water, a safe indoor space, and vet care as needed for the found pet; and/or if you cannot follow all of the steps above to find an owner, please bring the pet to the shelter.

If someone does come forward claiming to be the animal’s owner, be sure to ask—prior to a reunion/meeting—for proof of ownership.

If you choose not to bring the found pet to FCAC—and if you have followed all of the above steps to find the owners and are certain that you can provide proper care, including a trip to a veterinarian for any needed vaccinations, preventatives, tests, and spay/neuter—then we can help you look for a new home for the pet. For found cats and kittens, please refer to our DIY rescue guidelines.