I have lost my pet, what do I do?

 I have lost my pet, what do I do?

  • You must come in person to the Durham County Shelter during business hours to look for your lost pet. Since we have an average of 20 animals coming to the shelter every day, we cannot guarantee that the staff who answer the phone are aware of every animal. Also, your      description of your lost pet may differ from that of our staff &/or that of Animal Services.
  • We check every incoming animal for rabies and ID tags, and scan for a microchip. This greatly assists in reuniting pets with their owners.
  • Should you find your animal at the shelter, you will need to provide proof of ownership (photos, vet records) in order to reclaim him/her.
  • If  you do not find your animal at the shelter when you visit, we recommend that you leave detailed information in our “lost pet” book.  Please bring a PHOTO and description of your pet.  APS staff and volunteers will do their best to look for your lost animal amongst those at the shelter, based on the      information you provide.
  • However, even with a lost report on file, it is still the responsibility of the owner to continue to visit the shelter to check whether his/her pet has been brought in.

Stray animals at our shelter are also tracked on Pet Harbor (a website which automatically uploads information about animals at the shelter).  You may use this valuable tool for free but, again, we remind you that nothing is a substitute for personally checking at the shelter.


Visit PetHarbor to find your animal in local shelters, including APS.
Click here to use Pet Harbor to locate your lost pet.




Descriptions of animals found by Durham County Animal Services Officers can be found at https://twitter.com/foundpetsdurham.
Animals brought to the Durham County Animal Shelter by members of the public will not be posted on this twitter feed.

Other things to do

  • Check other area shelters.
  • Post fliers in your neighborhood, at community centers, shopping centers & vets’ offices.
  • Put a lost pet ad in your local newspaper and online e.g. on Craigslist.

                     Don’t give up! Sometimes pets are reunited with their owners after being missing for weeks or even months!