Lost and Found

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In an effort to return lost and stray pets to their owners, Animal Services maintains a lost and found network. Current rabies tags and microchips can be traced through our office and sometimes animals are returned to the owner without ever being impounded.

I lost my pet  

If you lost your pet, here’s what you should do:

  • Check the immediate area around your home. It could be possible that your pet may still be around the general area. Check under decks, under bushes, neighbors’ yards, or garages (even the smallest areas).

  • Visit the shelter in person within 24 hours of losing your pet. Bring a picture of the animal if possible. We are located at 4517 North Main Street in Rockford, IL. When you visit the shelter, please ask our front office staff check to see if we have current address, telephone number, and email address for you.

  • Regularly view online descriptions of lost animals at our facility and check online. It is always best to visually identify your pet rather than reading a description. However, you can view online descriptions of lost animals currently being held at our facility. If you see a description that even vaguely fits your animal, please come and look in person. You are the best person to identify your lost pet. Stop at the front office and let us know that you are looking for a lost pet.

  • Immediately report your dog as lost with the microchip company and make sure that they have your current address, telephone, and email address.

  • Complete a Lost Pet Report and submit it to us.  Attach any photos you may have of the pet as well.

Here are other tips for finding your lost animal:

  • View the Found Animal binder in our front office; one binder contains found animal reports and the second contains information of Animals found deceased.

  • Fill out a lost report and submit it to the front desk staff.

  • Come back every day to view the stray ward.

  • Contact your local veterinarians.

  • Visit other area animal shelters or contact other rescue groups.

  • Create a flyer and go door-to-door handing them out to your neighbors. Also give a copy to the person who delivers your mail.

  • Place a lost Ad in the local paper, petharbor.com, petfinder.com, etc.

  • Post a lost report with helpinglostpets.com/LDIL

  • Post your lost animal on your Facebook page, or post a report on Facebook pages such as Lost Dogs Illinois, Lost Dog of Wisconsin, or Lost Cats of Illinois.

  • WHERE TO START? Read the "Lost Dog Action Plan" and "Five Things to Do" posted available in several different languages at the Lost Dog Illinois website.

If Your Lost Animal is At Our Shelter

If you find your pet at the shelter, you will be required to pay a fee to reclaim your pet. As part of the reclaim fee, your pet will have a microchip implanted for identification purposes. Other services that may be included in the reclaim fee are boarding, handling, rabies vaccination and county tag. If your pet has a current rabies vaccination and pet license, please bring proof with you when reclaiming to avoid additional fees.

The person who reclaims the lost animal must be the microchipped owner or the person who is named under the rabies registration record.

Bring a photo ID such as a driver's license when you visit the shelter to reclaim or look for your pet.

We keep stray dogs for seven days, and even though there is no required holding time for cats, we typically hold stray cats for four days after which all strays may be considered for adoption based on health and temperament.

I found a pet!

If you find a lost animal, check for a county registration tag (rabies tag), name tag with contact info, or have the pet scanned for a microchip. You can take the lost pet to any veterinary clinic, local shelter or Winnebago County Animal Services to be scanned. Make sure the person scanning is using a universal scanner and scans the entire body as the microchip may have migrated. If there is a county registration tag or microchip, make sure to inform us so we can search for the owner based on the tag or microchip information.

Contact Animal Services to see if the pet owner has been to the shelter looking for their lost pet and also to complete a found report.

You may also bring the lost animal you found here to the facility or call for an Animal Services Officer to pick the animal up.

Create a flyer and post it around your neighborhood or go door-to-door to see if a neighbor has lost their pet.  

Complete a Found Pet Report and submit it to us. Attach any photos you may have of the pet as well.

You can also post found pet on helpinglostpets.com, Lost Dogs Illinois or Lost Cats of Illinois on Facebook.


ID Your Cat or Dog!

Use a rabies tag, microchip, or an ID tag with your name and current phone number.

Sign up for Email Alerts

Want to adopt a particular breed of dog or cat? Click to contact us!

Winnebago County Animal Services
4517 North Main Street
Rockford, IL 61103
P: 815-319-4100
F: 815-319-4101

Shelter Hours:
Monday: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM,
1:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday-Friday: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM,
1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Saturday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: CLOSED
*Please note, all adoptions end 30 minutes prior to closing.

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