Delaware Office of Animal Welfare

I’ve Lost My Pet

All animals picked up by Delaware Animal Services are checked for a microchip, pet license or other ID tag. If identification is found and the owner can be contacted, pets are returned immediately. All others are taken to the Brandywine Valley SPCA’s shelter facilities in Delaware. Our officers post information about these animals on the State Lost & Found Pet Registry. Note that DAS only picks up stray dogs. We do not pick up healthy stray or free-roaming cats. Stray cats are only picked up if they are seriously injured or ill.

During the stray hold period (a minimum of three days), animals are held in kennels within the county in which they are found so that pet owners can more easily find lost pets. Stray animals are held for a minimum of three days. If the pet is unclaimed, it becomes property of the Brandywine Valley SPCA and will be evaluated for placement or adoption.

Tips for Finding Your Lost Pet

  • Check the State’s Lost & Found Pet RegistryThis site contains pictures and descriptions of all stray animal picked up by DAS officers, as well as, animals found by members of the public.
  • Fill out a DAS Lost Report – If you don’t see your pet on the State Lost and Found Pet Registry, post a lost pet report. Include a photo, description and details where the pet was last seen. If you need assistance, call the DAS dispatch center at 302-255-4646.
  • Call the Brandywine Valley SPCA’s Lost/Found hotline at 302-516-1001 to arrange to visit the shelter facilities to search for your pet.
  • Contact Other Local Animal Shelters – All Delaware shelters post stray pets that they have taken in on their website. Check these websites and/or visit as soon as possible. These shelters include:
    • Delaware SPCA
    • Delaware Humane Association
    • Faithful Friends Animal Society
    • First State Animal Center and SPCA
  • Check Your Neighborhood – Drive and/or walk your neighborhood and adjoining neighborhoods daily. Talk to neighbors and hand out flyers so they can contact you if they see or find your pet.
  • Advertise – Put out flyers in your neighborhood, local stores, veterinary offices and similar locations. Check websites such as Craig’s List & Petfinder to look for and post information about your lost pet. Place a “lost pet” ad in your neighborhood newspaper