Did you know that 75% of animals that are "lost" are usually picked up within one mile of their home?

It turns out that most pets aren't lost, they're just out for a stroll and need a little help from a human to get them back to their family. 

Animal shelters are stressful, scary places for pets no matter how hard we try to make them a easy place to be. You can help a pet avoid having to go to the animal shelter with just a little more effort to get them home again!​

Guide for Lost and Found Pets

Find a Healthy Dog?

Step #1. Click a few good photos of the dog, making sure to leave any collar on and to feature any identifying marks. Don't change the appearance of the dog!

Step #2. Post the photos and information in your neighborhood social media pages, including NextDoor, Craigslist, and Facebook. 

If the pet is sick or injured, take the pet to the vet and/or contact your local animal control!

Step #3. Fill out our Found Pet Form!

Step #4. Send a picture of the found pet to us at with YOUR LAST NAME and the DATE YOU SUBMITTED THE FORM in the subject line.

Step #5. Take the pet to a pet store or veterinarian to have it scanned for microchip!

Step #6. Walk around the found neighborhood and see if anyone recognizes it. Most dogs travel less than a mile when loose.

Step #7. Create a LOST DOG FLYER. Register  the pet with Petco Love Lost, a database that uses facial recognition tools to help lost pets get back to their owners. 

Research shows us that most animals find their way home within 48 hours if the finder chooses to hold onto the pet instead of bringing it to the shelter. Please consider holding the animal!


If, after all the work you've put into finding this animal's home, you still aren't successful, consider using Home to Home, a free pet rehoming site or one of the many social media options for rehoming pets.

Found Pet Form


Type of Pet
Sex of Pet
Spayed or Neutered?

Tried all the tips and tricks and still can't find the animal's home?

  • CLICK HERE to make an appointment to bring the animal to a shelter if you live in one of our contracted municipalities (McAllen, Edinburg, Hidalgo, LaJoya, Palmhurst, or Hidalgo County)

Bringing an Animal to the Shelter: You can bring a found animal to PVAS (or whichever shelter serves your municipality). You must call ahead to schedule an appointment (956) 877-2207

If you have found an animal in emergent distress, please bring it to the shelter if you can't afford to take it to the vet! We can help triage the animal and then work with you on the next steps. 

Find a Healthy Cat or Kittens?

Be careful--you might be kit-napping!

Kittens need their mom, and though it may look like they have been abandoned, mom is likely right around the corner. 


If you find kittens, don't touch them! Kittens survive much better outside waiting for their mother, who is probably hunting nearby, than in a shelter - any shelter.


You might think you're helping by picking them up, but you may be ‘kitnapping’ them.


Leave them be and reach out to our Community Cat Program if you have questions.


Not sure if you’re kitnapping? Check out our Community Cat Program page for more info on kitnapping.



Our organization relies on community support to do the lifesaving work we do. Be a part of this work and donate today! Your donation will allow us to grow our programs and help more animals across the RGV.