I Found a Roaming Pet

Have you found a lost dog, cat or other pet? Here’s what to do.


If you’ve found a lost dog or cat without ID, first check if it’s microchipped. To do this, you can:

  • Contact your closest veterinarian and ask if they have a scanner.
  • Take the pet to one of our microchip checkpoint partners across Mecklenburg County.
  • Call 311 to request an officer come to your home to scan the lost pet for a microchip.



If the lost pet doesn’t have ID or a microchip, you have three options:

Option 1: Temporarily keep the pet.
Keep and care for the pet while you actively look for its owner. We highly encourage this option. All we require is that you fill out a Found Pet Report or call 311 to make a report. Be sure to post the pet on all your social media channels, including Next Door. Active Facebook groups to post in:


petco love lost reuniting pets   Also be sure to file a Petco Love Lost report


If the pet has not been reunited with its owner after 14 days, you can:
  • Continue to keep and care for it.
  • Re-home it with someone you know.
  • Contact Humane Society of Charlotte and / or other rescue organizations for help finding the pet a forever home.
  • Go to our rehoming your pet page to get loads more resources to help re-home on your own.
  • As a last resort, bring the pet to the shelter where we’ll do everything we can to reunite the pet with its people or place it in a new home.
NOTE: Original owners retain the right to reclaim their pets from new owners, even if their attempt to reunite with their pet occurs after 14 days. Any disputes over ownership between a new and original owner is a civil matter to be settled legally.


If you choose to keep a lost pet while searching for its owner, please be advised of Chapter 3, Article III,, Section 3-72 (Harboring Stray Animals) of the City of Charlotte’s Code of Ordinances:

It shall be unlawful for any person, without the actual consent of the owner*, to harbor**, feed, keep in possession by confinement or otherwise have any animal which does not belong to him, unless he has, within 24 hours of the time the animal came into his possession, notified CMPD Animal Care & Control.

*OWNER: Any person owning, keeping, having charge of sheltering, feeding, harboring or taking care of any pet for 14 or more consecutive days, unless the pet is boarded for a fee.

**HARBOR: To feed or shelter an animal for 14 or more consecutive days, unless the pet is boarded for a fee.
Option 2: Bring the pet to the shelter
If you can’t keep the lost pet in your home, bring it to Animal Care & Control at 8315 Byrum Dr. Charlotte NC 28217. The shelter is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Option 3: Request an animal control officer pick up the pet
Finally, you can call 311 to request an officer come to your home to pick up the lost pet.



Are you searching for your lost dog, cat or other pet? Visit our Lost Pets page.