Lost & Found
Procedures

LOST A PET?
Humane Society of Harford County

410-836-1090 ext. 109 or ext. 105

The Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC) is an open admission, independent non-profit organization.

Lost Pets
All pets that are picked up by the Harford County Division of Animal Control are brought to our shelter. We accept stray animals from the public as well as from Animal Control.

We maintain an extensive file of lost reports. We highly recommend that if your pet is lost, you file a lost report with HSHC, complete with a picture and detailed description of your pet. You should also check back with HSHC in person every couple of days as descriptions can be misrepresenting and many pets are especially difficult to match up to lost reports.

The law requires that stray animals be held for a period of time so that owners can find and reclaim them. Dogs are held for four days (not including Sundays or holidays) and cats for three days on “stray holds”. After this time, the animal is placed up for adoption and becomes the property of HSHC. For this reason, it is important that you check with HSHC via phone and in person frequently during the first few days of losing your pet. However, you may still redeem your pet after the stray hold has ended if the animal is still at HSHC. Keep in mind dogs with Harford County license tags will be held 10 days at HSHC. A tag, microchip, or tattoo increases your chance of finding your pet threefold.

You may also consider:

  • Checking with local veterinarians in case your animal was injured and taken there.
  • Hang flyers in your neighborhood. Check with your neighbors and mail carriers. Offer a reward – even a small one is an incentive. Make sure to include a phone number and description of your pet (pictures are great).
  • Place ads in your local newspaper.
  • Place an online ad at www.findtoto.com.

Lost Cats
Because of the overwhelming numbers of cats we take in to HSHC, it is particularly difficult to match cats with a lost report. If you have lost your cat, please make frequent, in person checks at HSHC. This is the most effective and successful way that cats are returned to their owners.

Other Shelters
If you live close to other counties, keep in mind your pet may have traveled into those counties or may have been picked up by a concerned citizen and taken to other shelters. Please consider contacting the animal shelters outside of Harford County. We have listed some below:

Anne Arundel County Animal Control- 410-222-8900 or fax 410-222-8915
Anne Arundel SPCA- 410-268-4388 or fax 410-268-8020
Baltimore City Shelter- 410-396-4694 or fax 410-396-7332
Baltimore County Animal Control- 410-887-7297
Baltimore County Humane Society- 410-833-8848 or fax 410-833-9251
Carroll County Humane Society- 410-848-4810 or fax 410-875-9736
Eastern Shore Animal League/Cecil County SPCA – 410-885-2342
Maryland SPCA- 410-235-8826 or fax 410-235-1053

FOUND A PET?
Humane Society of Harford County
410-836-1090 ext. 109 or ext. 105

The Harford County Division of Animal Control is the organization that is responsible for picking up stray animals in our county. All animals picked up by Animal Control are brought to the Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC).

If you have found a stray pet, and are unable to bring it to the humane society, you can call Animal Control at:
Harford County Animal Control
410-638-3505

All pets picked up by Animal Control are either returned directly to the owners or are brought to the HSHC shelter in Fallston for holding.

Bringing in the pet yourself
If you would like, you can bring the animal to HSHC yourself. However, keep in mind, many stray animals can be injured, scared, or show aggressive behavior. If you feel unsure of bringing a stray animal into your home or vehicle, please call Animal Control. HSHC does not provide field services; we cannot pick up the animal.

In many instances, the lost animal is friendly and can be easily transported to HSHC. Once the animal reaches HSHC, it will be held for a State mandated period to allow owners time to find and reclaim their pets. Dogs are held for four days and cats for three days, each a day beyond the legal requirement. After this time, the animals are placed up for adoption.

Holding onto a found pet
If you choose to keep the pet at your home, we strongly suggest that you file a found report with HSHC. This report remains on file and is checked daily to see if a lost report may match the pet you found. Pictures are especially helpful as verbal descriptions can be misleading.

By law, a found animal that is not brought to HSHC must be held for 30 days before the finders can keep the pet, give him/her away to a suitable home, or be adopted out immediately from HSHC. We recommend that you bring found pets to HSHC as most people will think to contact us first or be directed to us by other organizations when looking for their lost pet.

If you file a found report, please consider hanging flyers in your neighborhood as well. When you bring the pet to HSHC, note that on the flyers so an owner will know to contact us.

If you eventually bring in the pet after many days or find the owners on your own, we ask that you make the Adoptions staff aware that you previously filled out a found report. This eliminates the chance that a mistaken match will be made with an obsolete found report.

Adopting the found pet
In some cases, the finders of a lost pet want to keep the animal. We commend this act but ask that you give the pet’s owners a chance to reunite, as many owners are devastated over the loss of their pets. If you bring a found pet to HSHC, you can ask the adoptions staff to make a note to contact you once the stray hold is up so that you may adopt the animal. This ensures that the owners were given a chance to find their pet and if no one comes, the pet can legally be adopted back into your care.