Locating Lost Pets

First Steps to Finding A Lost Pet


Onslow County Animal Services strives to reunite missing animals with their rightful owners. Every stray animal entering our facility is scanned for a microchip. If a microchip is found, staff will contact the person who registered the microchip in an attempt to reunite the animal with its rightful owner.

When your pet goes missing, act immediately by following the steps below:

Step 1. Contact Animal Services


The first thing you need to do is email Animal Services.

Be sure to include the following information:
  • Date and location animal was lost
  • Description of animal's breed, age, primary and secondary colors
  • Pictures of the animal
  • Your contact information

Step 2. Visit the Shelter Daily


This is imperative because an animal's description is subjective, and one person's description of an animal may not necessarily match yours.

Check the Adoptable & Lost / Found Animals section on our website daily to search for your lost pet. Stray pets and adoptable animals are listed together.

5-Day Holding Period


Stray animals have a state-mandated 5 business day hold in order to allow time for an owner to find and reclaim their pet. The pet will become available for adoption after the stray holding period ends.

Your animal may have been turned in to the shelter days after he or she initially went missing, so continue to visit the shelter and check our website lost / found animal listings.


Additional Ways To Find A Pet


Once you have completed the initial steps to finding your pet, it can also be helpful to do the following:

Search Your Neighborhood


Talk with neighbors, local veterinarians, delivery drivers, and postal carriers. Give postal carriers and delivery drives a flyer as they travel your neighborhood daily and may spot your pet.

Use Social Media


Use social media to help find your pet. Post information to the following websites and use these sites to search for postings of found animals. Be sure to include as much description as possible, including the date and area your pet was lost.

Post Flyers


Post flyers around your neighborhood or the location your pet was lost. Make sure the sign is bright, contains a photo, description of your pet, and your contact information. The Missing Pet Partnership has tips on creating an effective flyer.

Check With Surrounding Counties


File a lost pet report with shelters in other counties as your pet may have roamed outside Onslow County lines. Surrounding counties include:
  • Carteret
  • Craven
  • Duplin
  • Jones
  • Lenoir
  • Pamlico
  • Pender
  • New Hanover