Delaware Office of Animal Welfare

I’ve Found A Pet

infoFor stray dogs, contact the following animal control agencies depending on your location:

  • Delaware Animal Services – New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties – 302-255-4646
  • City of Newark – Newark Police – 302-366-7111
  • City of Dover – Dover Police – 302-736-7111

Have you found a stray animal that you’re not sure what to do with? Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that the animal is safely returned to its owner.

  1. Check for identification tags
  2. If you have found a dog with a county or state dog license tag, click here to enter the tag number
  3. Have pet scanned for a microchip at a local shelter or veterinary center.
  4. Check the State Lost and Found Pet Registry to see if the animal has been reported missing.
  5. File an online found animal report on the State Lost and Found Pet Registry, as well as other local animal shelters. If you need assistance, please call our DAS Dispatch Center at 302-255-4646.
  6. DAS officers will pick up stray dogs from your location. We ask that the animal be confined to your home or yard. Be aware that depending on call volume and priorities, it may take some time for an officer to respond. Contact DAS at 302-255-4646 to schedule a pick up.
  7. By law, all stray dogs found and contained must be reported to animal DAS, or the cities of Newark or Dover animal control within 48 hours.

A Note About Cats
Cats are allowed outdoors in the state of Delaware. If you have found a cat, you might have found someone’s pet who has either been let out or escaped the house. Cats are more likely to find their own way home than be reclaimed at the shelter. The best thing you can do for a healthy, adult cat who is not in imminent danger is allow him or her to find their way home and only intervene if you are concerned for the cat’s safety.  More information

Alley Cat Allies provides extensive information about community cats on their website, including how to  live with cats in your neighborhood, and deterring cats from your yard.

I Found Kittens, What Do I Do?
This depends on how old they. If they are young, they are likely still being cared for by a parent and it is best to leave them alone. As they get older and are weaned, they can be socialized, spayed/neutered and placed in homes if available.  More information