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Have Your Lost a Pet?

There are few things more frightening than discovering your pet is missing, but PAWS is here to help. Time is of the essence, so read through our suggestions to see where you can get started.

Green Eyed Cat

Call PAWS and other area shelters to report your pet as missing. Staff will take a description of your pet, check it against a list of stray animals at our shelter and enter your animal into our system. Lost animals arrive throughout the day so when you call please provide as much detail as possible.

To call about a lost pet: 207-236-8702

Search Your House and Yard

Common hiding places include:

  • Appliances (clothes dryer, washing machine, refrigerator, etc.)

  • Attic and crawl spaces

  • Boxes and large containers

  • Cabinets (including file cabinets)

  • Drain pipes and gutters

  • Drawers, shelves, bookcases

  • Roof

  • Sheds and barns

  • Trees and bushes

  • Vehicles (including inside the engine during cold weather, for cats)


Walk Your Neighborhood

  • Go door-to-door where your pet was last seen, talking to everyone.

  • Carry a written description or flyer of your pet with your phone number to leave with residents or on the door (for your safety, never leave your name or your address).

  • Bring a powerful flashlight even during the day. You will be looking in dark spaces such as garages, trash bins and crawl spaces. If injured, your dog or cat is likely to hide in a dark space and may be too frightened to respond to your voice.

  • Frequently call to your pet. S/he can hear you from great distances. Stop often and listen for a reply or other animal noises.

  • Bring your pet’s favorite squeaky toy and use it. Take a box of your pet’s favorite treats and rattle it loudly while calling his/her name.

  • Post simple, clear flyers around the neighborhood. Pets may roam more than a mile away. Include a short description of your pet (i.e. male cat, black fur, green eyes), but withhold several identifying marks so you can verify that a person truly has your pet. If possible, include a color photo of your pet. Never put your name or your address on the flyer.

Your pet’s sense of smell can help him find his way. Outside your home, place familiar, strongly-scented items such as:

  • A pair of your old gym socks or shirt.

  • Your pet’s bedding and/or favorite toys.

  • Foods such as tuna, sardines or other savory meat.

Outside Your Neighborhood

  • Call and visit other shelters in the area. Found animals are not always taken to the shelter in the jurisdiction where they are found. Sometimes Good Samaritans don’t know where the shelter is and will instead bring animals to a nearby jurisdiction. Shelters are required to hold stray animals for a “stray period,” so it is very important to contact area shelters right away if your pet is lost. Animals without an indication of ownership (collar, microchip, etc.) must be held for at least 48 hours for cats and 6 days for dogs.

  • Call local veterinary offices/emergency clinics, and visit the office if they have an animal that sounds even remotely like your pet.

  • Run a “lost pet” ad in the newspaper and community publications. Search the “found” section of these publications as well.

  • Call area Animal Control Officers and/or Police Departments. 


Come to PAWS and bring the following items:

Proof of ownership

The law requires that shelters verify legal ownership before releasing a pet.

Acceptable items include

  • Vet records in your name with your pet’s description 

  • Photos of you and your pet over time

  • Microchip or rabies vaccination records

  • Bill of sale or adoption contract with your name and pet’s description

Please also bring the following:
  • State issued drivers license or ID of the owner

  • Proof of town registration (dogs only - Maine Residents Only) and current rabies vaccinations (cats and dogs)- This information is required by Maine Laws and we will not release your pet without this information

  • Collar and leash for dogs and collar and carrier for cats and other animals. We will not release any animal that is not properly restrained

  • Cash or credit card to pay fees

  • A boarding fee of $15/day for a cat & $25/day for a dog is charged for each day at the shelter

  • Vet bill, if applicable. If your pet required veterinary attention while in our care, we ask that you reimburse PAWS for these charges as well.

If you have not already registered your dog, you can register your dog at you town office. 

Other Questions?

Please call PAWS at 207-236-8702 to report a missing pet, or with other questions.

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