Copyright 2024 by Forsyth County, Georgia

Lost & Found Pets

What to Do if You Have Lost a Pet

Losing a pet can be distressing.  Stay calm and follow these steps to help you find your animal.


Check with the Forsyth County Pet Resource Center

  • File a lost report. Call the Pet Resource Center at (678) 965-7185 or come visit us (4065 County Way, Cumming, GA 30028) between 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.
  • Email to report a lost animal during closed hours of operation. Include all distinguishing markings and characteristics, age, breed, size, gender, spay/neuter status, coat color, coat length and the address or cross street where the animal was lost. The more descriptive the better. Also include clear photos of the lost pet.
  • Come to the Pet Resource Center every day and be sure to monitor our website to view the stray animals in our care. The shelter holds stray animals for five days. After that, they may be made available for adoption or transferred to a rescue group partner.

Search Online and in Your Neighborhood

  • Talk to your neighbors and ask them to check garages and tool sheds. Go door-to-door. Leave your name, address and telephone number plus a complete description and photo of your animal.
  • If your pet is microchipped, alert the microchip company that your pet is missing and confirm that your contact information is up to date.
  • Make flyers with photos and contact information to post in surrounding common areas.
  • Search in the evenings when it’s quiet and call or whistle. A pet that is injured or frightened may be hiding.
  • Drive slowly around your neighborhood; sometimes a dog will recognize the sound of your car. Keep in mind that cats sometimes climb into cars and are transported miles away before jumping out.
  • Leave a personal item outside, such as a jacket or your pet’s bed, to help your pet find the scent home.
  • Post flyers throughout your neighborhood, at local veterinary hospitals and community bulletin boards. Place signs within a 20-block radius of where your pet was lost. Think of a special question or physical characteristic that only someone with your pet will be able to answer. Never pay reward money in advance and be sure to meet anyone in a public place.
  • Post a lost pet ad with a photo on Facebook’s Lost and Found Animals of Forsyth County, Focus on Forsyth and Nextdoor and search the pet listings for found animals.
  • If someone calls about your pet, try to get a positive ID of your animal from the caller. Have specific details in mind (a scar or peculiar feature) that will identify your animal. Think of a special question that only someone with your pet will be able to answer.

How to Reclaim a Lost Pet

Retrieve your pet. If your lost pet was found and has been brought to the Forsyth County Pet Resource Center, you may reclaim your pet from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

The following information is required at time of reclaim: 

  • You must be 18 years old to reclaim 
  • Proof of Ownership (vet records, animal ID, photos) 
  • Driver’s license or valid picture ID 

Reclaim a pet on the owner’s behalf. If you are reclaiming an animal for an owner who is not available to come to the shelter themselves, the following information is required for reclaim: 

  • A copy of the owner’s driver’s license or valid photo ID  
  • A signed and dated letter from the owner stating that they give you (your name must be listed in letter) permission to reclaim their pet on their behalf 
  • Driver’s license or valid photo ID of person reclaim on owner’s behalf

Fees for Reclaiming

  • Impound Fee: $25
  • Daily Holding Fee: $15 per day
  • Processing Fee: $60

Please note there may be additional fees if your pet requires medications or emergency veterinary care.  

What to Do if You Find a Stray or Lost Animal

To unite as many lost pets as possible with their rightful owners, we only accept stray animals that are found in Forsyth County. If you have found a pet in a different county, please contact the Department of Animal Services of the specific county you found the animal in. This is the most effective way of reuniting a pet with its owner. Owners do not typically look for their lost pet in another jurisdiction.

Found stray kittens. Did you know kittens are one of the most vulnerable populations in animal shelters and that many end up there because of well-meaning animal lovers? Removing kittens from their current environment may not always be the right answer as the mom cat could be nearby getting food (or hiding from you), and no one can care for a kitten like their mom can! To help choose the right path for kittens you found, please read our Kitten Guide before removing kittens from a location.

Found an adult cat. While we encourage members of the public and adopters to keep their cats indoors, there is still a large population of indoor-outdoor owned cats. Often cats that are redeemed from the Pet Resource Center are reported as “lost” when in fact they are right outside of their homes. If you find an adult cat, take the following steps to try and reunite the cat with its owner before bringing it to the shelter.

  • Does the cat have a collar, harness, microchip or other indicator of ownership, and have you seen this cat in the neighborhood before?
  • If yes, check the collar and tags to see if you can call the owner. Most indoor/outdoor cats have a territory of 0.01 miles, so they may not be far from home.
  • If possible, have the animal scanned at our animal shelter or at a local veterinary hospital for a microchip.
  • If the cat is not in distress, appears well groomed and is in a safe location, it is likely just fine. Please leave the cat where it is.
  • If the cat is showing signs of injury or illness, call the Department of Animal Services at (770) 781-2138, and an Animal Services Officer will be dispatched and triage the situation.

Feral and community cats. Feral and community cats are the number one animal welfare issue effecting Forsyth County. The only HUMANE solution to controlling the feral cat population is through a program called TNR (Trap- Neuter- Return). For more information on how TNR works, click here. The Pet Resource Center will make every effort to reduce the intake of feral cats into the shelter and promote TNR as a solution to the feral and community cat concerns.

If you find a cat that appears non-distressed and in a safe location but shows feral behaviors such as avoidance of contact or hiding/darting upon approach, but has an overall well-kempt appearance, this is most likely a feral cat.

The Pet Resource Center will not place feral cats up for adoption.

The Department of Animal Services will not trap or pick up feral cats from the community.

Cats brought to the Pet Resource Center in a trap and deemed feral will be TNR and released back to the location where they were trapped.

The Pet Resource Center will help with TNR efforts for a feral or community cat problem on a case-by-case scenario. Contact the shelter at (678) 965-7185 for more information.

For information to deter feral cats from your property, click here.

Found a dog. The Pet Resource Center will accept stray dogs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. If you find a dog outside these hours, or if the dog is injured, sick or acting aggressively, call the Department of Animal Services at (770) 781-2138.

Before bringing a dog to the shelter, attempt to locate an owner using the following steps:

  • Check the collar and tags on the dog for owner contact information. They might be just next door!
  • Call the Pet Resource Center at (678) 965-7185 to see if we have a matching Lost Animal Report. If we do not have a report, we will take a Found Animal Report over the phone.
  • Check social media.
  • Check and post on Facebook pages such as Lost and Found Pets Animals of Forsyth County and Focus on Forsyth.
  • Check and post on your neighborhood dog owners’ group on Facebook.
  • We HIGHLY recommend using Pawboost, as it has resulted in many happy reunions.
  • Print Flyers: Pawboost can help you create flyers to post in your immediate community.

Found Pets