If you find an animal: Have the animal checked for a microchip and contact your local animal shelter to complete a Found Report. Any veterinarian’s office, Animal Control Officers, or local animal shelter can scan for a microchip. In Visalia, call 713-4700 or 713-4690. The City of Visalia Animal Care Center/shelter located at 29016 Highway 99, Visalia, CA 93277, open Monday and Wednesday 9:30am-6:00pm, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm-4:00pm. This shelter is the central location for lost/found animals in the City of Visalia and City of Dinuba. If you are unable to transport the animal or if the animal is sick or injured, call City of Visalia Animal Control at 713-4957 and an officer can provide assistance. If you are interested in adopting an animal that is not reclaimed, you can ask to be notified once the stray hold on the animal is expired.
• Lost dogs and cats may appear skittish and afraid. They may lose weight and appear disheveled depending upon how long they have been lost from their home and family. Many owners of missing pets search tirelessly to find their lost dog or cat.
• You may call Visalia Animal Control: 713-4957 and report the stray animal. Animal Control will pick up the stray, scan it for a microchip and take it back to the owner’s home if possible. If not, they will bring it to the Visalia Animal Care Center/shelter. You may also bring lost animals to the shelter. Most people will search for their missing pet at animal shelters so it is important to contact your local shelter as soon as possible. We recommend placing posters in the neighborhood in which you found the lost pet, letting them know it has gone to the local animal shelter.
• Post an ad in the local newspaper, stating the animal is at the animal shelter. Visalia Times-Delta will run a “Found Pet” ad for three days free of charge. You may also call and renew the found pet ad after the three day period. Check your local newspaper for lost pet advertisements as well.
• Post a found pet notice on Craigslist, stating the lost pet is at the Visalia animal shelter.
• We recommend placing posters in the neighborhood in which you found the lost pet, letting them know it has gone to the Visalia animal shelter.
If your animal companion is missing:
Visalia and Dinuba residents: File a Lost Pet Report with Visalia Animal Care Center/shelter, 29016 Highway 99, Visalia, CA 93277, (559)713-4700 and visit the shelter to personally view the animals in the kennels. Plan on visiting the shelter daily or at least every three days to see all new arrivals. Tulare County residents should check the Tulare County Shelter 636-4050; Tulare residents should check City of Tulare shelter 685-5047. It is a good idea to check all local shelters in case animals cross boundaries or are transported across boundaries.
· We strongly recommend that you visit your local animal shelter to personally view the animals in the kennels. Under state law, stray animals are held for four days, not counting the day of arrival or holidays. On days you cannot visit the shelter, call (559) 713-4700 for recorded message of new arrivals.
· If your pet is microchipped, call the company to confirm that your contact information is up-to-date, and alert them that your pet is missing.
· Search in your neighborhood regularly. Call or whistle, especially in the evenings when it is quiet.
· Consider leaving a personal item, such as your t-shirt, jacket, your pet’s bed, food and water outside to help your pet find the scent home.
· Alert your neighbors. If your animal is injured or frightened, it may be hiding. Ask your neighbors to check garages and tool sheds.
· Post fliers throughout your neighborhood, at local veterinarians, dog parks, at businesses and on social media sites. It should include enough information for an honest person to contact you, but not enough detail that a scammer can claim to have your pet. Be careful – never pay reward money in advance, and be sure to meet anyone in a public place.
· Post a lost pet notice on Craigslist and consider placing an ad in your local newspaper.
· Don’t give up hope, and don’t assume your pet has been stolen. Keep searching the animal shelters and checking ads.
Tips for keeping your returned pet healthy — and at home.
· Spay/neuter your animal as soon as possible, which will make them less likely to roam.
· Microchip your animal, which provides permanent identification
· Commit to keeping your cat indoors only. Indoor/outdoor cats rarely live their natural lifespan due to the dangers of cars, disease, poison and injury.
· Consider dog training classes, especially if your dog is a “door dasher” or escape artist.