Lost and Found Support

Stray dog looking at camera outdoors on the street.

If you have found a stray dog, you must report it to animal law enforcement (Animal Care and control) within 48 hours. All services related to stray animals and dog licensing within Livingston County are provided by the Livingston County Animal Shelter. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department’s Animal Care & Control officers are responsible for enforcement and investigations of animal cruelty and neglect.

For calls regarding a stray or injured domestic animal in Livingston County, please contact Livingston County police dispatch at (517)546-9111.

Animal control officers staffed within the sheriff’s department will investigate and respond to vicious or stray animals, nuisance complaints, injured or ill animals, reports of cruelty or neglect, as well as other animal-related issues.

For an emergency or immediate assistance call 911. 

Impounded Animals/Lost and Found Animals

To reclaim impounded animals or report a lost or found pet, contact:

Livingston County Animal Shelter

418 S. Highlander Way

Howell, MI 48843

Shelter and Administration Phone: 517.546.2154

Fax: 517.546.0232

  • Proper identification like microchipping and collars with tags are the best and fastest way to ensure your pets find their way home! Be sure to update your microchip registry if you move or change phone numbers. Both cats and dogs should always wear collars with tags as an easy way for anyone to know that your pet has a loving home. Learn more about microchipping your pet>>



  •  If your animal escaped from your yard, check your fence thoroughly. Repair any holes and don’t forget to look up – did your pet find a way to climb over?
  • Post signs or flyers in the area where the pet was lost or found.  Be sure to include the pet’s name, age, size, breed, color, a photo, the area where the pet was last seen, and your contact information*.  If it is your pet, you may also want to include any tips regarding pet temperament, positive triggers, words or phrases that could be used to lure your pet. Adding a small reward can also be helpful.*


  • File a lost or found pet report with your local paper and check the FOUND reports in the paper daily. Many local newspapers will run these ads for free. Advertising in the paper can also be important to establish you were actively looking for your pet in case someone were to claim you meant to give it up or didn’t want it.

* For safety reasons, we suggest you do NOT include your address or full name in any public postings. Be very careful about scammers who claim to have your pet and ask for money to return it. Only meet people in public places, (at the police station is a good place,) never go alone, and never give anybody any money until you have your pet in your hands.


  • Check local gathering places like churches, meeting halls, libraries, and all local pet stores, veterinarians, pet groomers and boarding kennels to see if they have a bulletin board where you may post your flyer.


  • Leave water and something familiar (such as a blanket, bed or favorite toy, litter box, or favorite crate) outside on your porch or near your door. Animals may return on their own when no one is home, and having water and something familiar may encourage them to stay in the area. Leaving food out may not be the best idea. It may attract other animals which will frighten your pet.


  • Walk the neighborhood where the pet was last seen at least daily. For cats, especially check in the early morning and evening when they are most active. Talk to neighbors and anyone working in the area to let them know you have lost your pet or found one.  Place a note in your mailbox to let the mail carrier know you have lost or found a pet. Call your pet’s name. Be sure to stop often, be quiet, and listen!  Bring a flashlight for those dark places where an animal may hide. If it’s cold out, cats sometimes climb up into the engines of cars, which is very dangerous – be sure to bang on the car hood and check before starting up your car!


  •  SEARCH THOUROUGHLY – Your pet might be on your own property! Cats especially are good at hiding and will likely remain close by, but can get stuck in the most peculiar places. A lot of cats get trapped in garages, sheds, crawl spaces.   If they are frightened or injured they may not respond to the sound of your voice or even recognize you.  Also, don’t forget to check indoors – closets, drawers, cabinets… even in the dryer! And, be sure to look up – cats will climb into trees, roof tops, and rafters!


  • Set humane live traps where possible. Make sure you are using a properly operating trap large enough for the animal you hope to catch (obviously this is not the best option for large breed dogs). For cats, use things like tuna or smelly canned cat food as bait. Do not leave food out in hot or cold weather and be sure not to leave the trap unattended for very long – a trapped animal is very vulnerable to predators — check it at least every few hours. If you catch an animal other than your own, release it immediately.


  • Check with your local police department to make certain no dog or cat/car accident has been reported which injured your pet or to inquire if the owner of the pet you have found has contacted them or posted a notice at the station.


The links below have additional tips on where to search: