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If your pet is missing

When a pet goes missing, it can be emotional, but taking swift action is key. Here are the guidelines provided by the Yolo County SPCA to help bring your furry family member back home. 

Please Note: The process found below is specific to animals lost in Yolo County. Please contact your local animal service officials if outside of Yolo County.

*Report your lost pet immediately as the stray holding period at the Yolo County shelter is only 72 hours*

1. Download and complete a Yolo County Lost Animal Report.

Yolo County Form for lost and found DOGS
Yolo County Form for lost and found CATS

2. Submit your Lost Report promptly.

Submit your Lost Report to the Yolo County Animal Services at and please e-mail a photo(s) if you can - it really helps! Please put “lost dog” or "lost cat" in the subject line. Include as much information as you can on the form. Remember to email again when you find your animal so they can remove your lost report.

3. Visit to search for your pet. lists all the animals (stray and up for adoption) at local shelters. Please keep in mind that information listed may not always be correct, so use "no preferences" in your search.

4. Post on your local Facebook Lost and Found Pets groups.

Many communities have Lost & Found Pets groups on Facebook. Below are links to a few in our local area:

Yolo County
West Sacramento

There is also a Sacramento Craigslist. You can post under the “pets” and “lost and found” sections.

5. Make and post fliers.

Keep it clear and simple.  Use a photograph if possible (color copies are best).  The more fliers you distribute, the more likely you will recover your pet!  During the rainy season, laminate the fliers or place them in plastic sleeves. Suggested places to post include local vet offices, post offices, markets, pet stores, ranch supply stores, laundry facilities, libraries, public bulletin boards, and throughout the neighborhood where the dog was lost and/or lives.

6. Search for your pet regularly.

Search your neighborhood/community. Talk to your neighbors and enlist their help. Ask neighbors to check backyards, garages and tool sheds. If your animal is injured, timid/frightened, it may be hiding. Place something with their own scent outside (pet bed, litterbox, jacket) so they can recognize/find their home.

7. Notify local veterinary clinics.

In case someone brings your dog in injured or as a stray.

8. Visit the Yolo County Animal Services shelter.

The Yolo County SPCA does check the stray animals at the shelter on a regular basis to try to reunite stray animals with their owners. However, they suggest you check the shelter personally. Remember, strays are only legally required to be held for 72 hours, so check regularly. You can view photos and descriptions of the stray animals at the shelter by visiting Please be aware that you will not know what city or region of Yolo County the animal is from and you cannot always count on the descriptions of the animals being accurate! If you think an animal may be your lost pet you can (a) call the shelter to check where the animal is from (reference the animal by its ID number, (b) check the animal in person at the shelter immediately, or (c) contact and provide us with the ID number for the animal in question. The Yolo County Animal Services shelter and the Yolo County SPCA lost & found office are closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Yolo County Animal Services shelter is located at:
2640 East Gibson Road
Woodland, CA 95776
(530) 668-5287 (press 0 to speak to a clerk during business hours, press 1 for dispatch of a field officer in the event of an emergency).

Shelter hours:
Tuesday – Friday from 10am -1pm and 2pm -6pm
Saturdays from 10am -1pm and 2pm -4pm

Additional Advice from the SF SPCA:

  • Is your pet microchipped? If so, alert the microchip company that your pet is missing and confirm that your contact information is up-to-date.
  • Include evening hours when searching for your pet, since the environment is especially quiet then.
  • When posting fliers, include enough information for an honest person to contact you, but not so much detail that a scammer can claim to have your pet. Be careful!
  • Never pay reward money in advance and be sure to meet anyone in a public place.