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Have you found a stray animal that you're not sure what to do with?  Please don't assume it has been abandoned or abused.  Here are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that the animal is safely returned to its owner. (Animals found in other counties should be referred to their local county animal shelter.)


1. If the animal has a rabies or license tag, there are ways to use that information to trace the pet owner. 

  • With a Wood County License, you can contact the Wood County Assessor's Office for assistance is locating the owner.

  • With a Rabies tag, contact the vet clinic listed on the tag and they should be able to trace the owner through that number. 

  • Or call the shelter at 304-422-5541, and provide the license and/or rabies tag number, along with a description of the animal and we'll help you find the owner.


2. Keep the animal at your house until the owner is found and file a Found Animal Report with the shelter.

    Call the Shelter at 304-422-5541 and we'll help you file the report.


3. If from within Wood County, bring the animal to the Shelter (see below for hours)

  • We will hold the found animal through its stray holding period.

  • If unclaimed, the animal’s temperament and health will be assessed for entry into our adoption program.


Keep In Mind - Many animals now have a microchip implanted under the skin that is a permanent form of identification. This unique number can only be read with a microchip scanner, like those we use in our Shelter and at our Clinic but also most veterinary clinics now offer microchipping too.

Found a stray?  Please....


Act fast to keep pet safe:

  • If you find a stray animal, first and foremost, please try and keep it contained and safe. 

  • Second search the area where it was found to see if an owner is nearby and if not, leave information with people that do live in that area in case the owner comes looking later. 

  • Leave contact information so they can reach you. 

  • If you intend to bring the animal to the shelter, please realize that we only accept animals during business hours.  Please keep the pet safe until the shelter opens and you can bring it in. 

  • If you find an animal in another county, it is best to take it to that county shelter where the owner is more likely to come looking for it. 


Get the word out:

  • Check our Facebook group (HSOP Community Page) as well as the various local Lost and Found pages to see if the animals you found has been posted as lost. 

  • Of course notify the shelter as soon as possible even if you are planning on keeping the animal in your home until the owner is found. 

  • Post pictures and some basic information using social media but also public areas, stores or businesses in the area in which it was found. 

  • Call vet offices in the area and describe the animal; they may recognize the animal. 


Ask for proof of ownership: We know that there are people who will falsely try and reclaim animals that are not their own, sadly this occurs pretty frequently with the cute little dogs and purebreds that people think can be sold for profit.  As such, we require proof of ownership and strongly suggest that you should do the same.  We require proof in the form of a picture, vet records, license information, and registration papers or similar that describes the animal in sufficient detail to confirm a match.   Also identifying marks could be used to confirm ownership, such as marks on the tongue, inside ears, on the belly or even distinctive coloring. 

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