Frequently Asked Questions

I lost my dog or cat, can the HBSPCA help?

If you have lost your pet, the following steps may help bring you back together:

  1. First, contact your city’s Animal Control department. In the Hamilton area, call 905-574-3433. In Burlington, call 905-335-3030. In Hamilton, dogs and cats will stay at Animal Services for 72 hours in the hopes that someone will claim them. Following the 72-hour period, adoptable animals become the property of the HBSPCA, are medically treated and made available to the public for adoption.
  2. Search your neighborhood. Ask your neighbours, mail carriers, joggers, garbage collectors, and others in the area to watch out for your pet. Kids in the neighbourhood can be an excellent source of information.
  3. Visit animal shelters and the pound. Go in person, rather than phoning. Visit the shelters every 24 hours. If you don’t have a shelter or pound in your area, phone the local police detachment.
  4. Try the power of scent. Animals have a keen sense of smell and familiar smells may help bring them home. Place a piece of clothing you’ve worn or a blanket outside your door. For indoor cats, place their litter box outside.
  5. Post eye-catching posters in the neighbourhood. Describe your pet in detail and include a picture, the date and location of where your pet was lost and a phone number where you can be reached. Be sure to mention any unique markings and the colour of your pet’s collar. Consider offering a nominal reward. Withhold one of your pet’s unique characteristics so you can verify the honesty of a caller who is claiming to have found your pet.
  6. Place an ad in your local newspaper.
  7. Try the Internet. PetLynx and Kijiji are valuable resources—you can search the listings to see if someone has found your pet and post a lost pet notice yourself. Before you post on either of these websites, contact your local animal control to ensure your pet isn’t there already.
  8. Check local animal hospitals and local vet clinics.
  9. Continue your search even if you feel there is little hope. Some animals turn up after having been lost for months.