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Questions? Call us at (719) 302-8723.

I've Found a Pet

I've found a pet. What should I do?

Thank you for your help in attempting to reunite a lost pet with their family! If you find a lost pet, you may: 

1. Bring the animal to the shelter.
HSPPR does its best to match lost reports with animals coming into the shelter. By law, stray dogs are held for 5 days and cats 3 days before HSPPR takes ownership. After the stray wait period has passed, these animals may be made available for adoption if an owner does not reclaim him. There’s never a time limit on how long we’ll care for an animal before he’s adopted. In some cases, seriously ill animals or animals with severe behavior problems may need to be humanely euthanized.

Interested in adopting the pet you found if the owner doesn't come forward? Find out about our choice hold program here.

2. Call us to pick up the animal.
Due to local ordinances, we are unable to pick up stray cats and cannot pick up stray dogs outside of the city limits of Colorado Springs, Fountain or Monument. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Call 719.473.1741 and we can dispatch an Animal Law Enforcement officer to your address. Please note wait times may vary depending on the current number of cases officers are responding to and the severity of the cases in their queue.

3. Temporarily care for the pet in your home.
Please be sure to file a found report immediately, which remains active for 5 days. If the animal is wearing a license or rabies tag, we may be able to trace the owner. You may also take a lost pet to a local veterinarian or to HSPPR to have him scanned for a microchip. In addition to completing the found report, we suggest you check with neighbors and area veterinarians, hang signs in the neighborhood, place ads in local papers and post notices on social media sites such as Facebook and Craigslist.

What if I find an orphaned kitten?

When it comes to finding a litter of kittens, sometimes you can help them by NOT taking action. Mother cats don’t often abandon their kittens, but they will leave them to search for food or to find a more suitable location to move the family. If the kittens are not in any obvious danger and appear cozy and clean, simply leave the area. Don’t hide nearby because the mother cat can still smell or notice your presence. Check back in a few hours to see if the kittens have been moved and/or the mother has returned. Keep in mind that kittens have the best chance of survival with their mother. If they look healthy and well cared for, leave them for the mother cat to raise.

Shelters and rescues are inundated every spring and summer with underage kittens brought in by well-meaning good Samaritans. Please, if you see "abandoned" kittens, don't remove them from the area if they are not in immediate danger. They're probably just fine where they are.

When to intervene
If the kittens are in immediate danger such as underneath a car, or an area that is flooded, find the nearest safe area to which you can move them that will still allow the mother to find them. Place them in a sheltered area, away from direct sun, rain, or traffic and check back later to see if the mother cat has returned.

If you determine the mother is friendly, the best approach is to take her and the kittens indoors until the kittens are old enough to be weaned. Once the kittens are at least two pounds, they can be brought to the shelter for vaccines, sterilization, and adoption.

After you have observed the kittens for 12 to 24 hours and are sure the mother is not likely to return, or if the kittens are clearly in poor health or injured, then by all means pick them up and care for them. Click here for tips on caring for newborn kittens. Be aware that sometimes, no matter what you do, neonatal kittens can fade very quickly and do not survive. Know your efforts to be the best surrogate guardian possible are enough!

For additional help caring for orphaned kittens, contact:

In Colorado Springs

Happy Cats Haven

Wild Blue Animal Rescue


In Pueblo

Southern Colorado Spay & Neuter Association
1700 S. Prairie Avenue
Pueblo, CO 81005
719.564.3776 | After Hours: 719.250.0262

What if I find wildlife?

HSPPR is not licensed to accept wildlife. If you find orphaned or injured wildlife, including deer, birds, rabbits, turtles or tarantulas, please click here for Colorado Parks and Wildlife's licensed rehabilitator list arranged by county or call them at 719.227.5200.

Additional Resources
Colorado Reptile Humane Society