Stray & Lost Pets
REPORT A LOST OR FOUND PET:
If you have lost or found a pet within Isabella County, please submit a report so we can assist you in reuniting the pet safely. If you have lost or found a pet outside of this area, please contact your nearest shelter. If you live near a border, file reports in all nearby counties.
If you have found a stray cat in Isabella County, please start by checking for the following:
#1 Does the cat have an ear tip? An ear tip is where the top left portion of the ear has been removed indicating the cat is spayed or neutered. These cats are free-roaming in the community and may or may not be socialized. They often have multiple caregivers and do not need human intervention. If the cat is feral (unsocialized and won't approach humans) but not yet ear tipped, we recommend utilizing the Trap-Neuter-Return method. Feral cats cannot be socialized and must live in a safe outdoor environment.
#2 Does the cat have a collar? Friendly cats with collars are typically owned cats who are allowed to go outside. If they have an ID tag, please call the owner. If the cat is in a potentially unsafe situation, move the cat a safe distance away but do not remove them altogether from their neighborhood. Removal from their familiar surroundings will result in them being unable to find their way back home, doing more damage than good. You can also submit a found cat report so we can check it against any lost reports.
#3 Does the cat appear to be injured or sick? Sick or injured cats may react aggressively out of fear, so it is best to use caution when approaching them. If you have found an injured or sick cat in Isabella County, call us for further assistance. We will assess the situation and determine if an immediate intake is required. If it is outside of our regular business hours you can call a local veterinary office for advice and keep the cat comfortable until we reopen.
#4 Are there newborn kittens? Don't kit-nap the kittens! Wait and watch patiently for a mother cat to return or call us for advice before intervening! Their best chance for survival is being left in their current environment with their mother. If intervention is required we will provide you with advice on bottle feeding or assistance in finding a foster home. Although, finding a foster to provide round-the-clock feedings is no easy task, and no match to what their mother could have provided. For further reading check out Best Friends advice on caring for abandoned kittens.
If you don’t notice any of the identifiers listed above, the next step is to ask around the area to determine if anyone has seen the cat before or knows who cares for it. Neighbors often unknowingly share cats who go back and forth between houses. If you wish to house the cat either temporarily or long term, it’s important to submit a found cat report. We will be able to assist with scanning the cat for a microchip and checking lost reports.
What if I’m not looking to keep the cat I’ve found?
Our facility, like many others across the country, has moved to a managed admission system for cats. It allows for cats who need emergency care to obtain immediate shelter while also allowing us to coordinate the flow of cats into our facility to ensure we are providing the best care possible with our current resources. It also eliminates the practice of euthanizing healthy cats due to overcrowding. For those who have found healthy cats and do not wish to keep them long term, they are placed on a waiting list to bring the cat(s) to our facility and we will provide advice on alternatives to try in the meantime. This system has empowered community members to take an active role in keeping healthy cats out of the shelter by reuniting lost pets with their owners, participating in TNR, avoiding unnecessary intervention, fostering, and finding adopters for homeless cats.
If you have taken in a healthy and friendly stray cat, please call us at (989) 775-0830 to discuss your wait list options. If you come across a cat/kitten and know that you are unable to house them, please do not intervene! Call us for advice before taking home an animal you cannot keep.
It is often assumed that an animal shelter is the best place for any animal. The reality is that there are simply not enough homes for every stray cat and there are better options for healthy cats who have adapted to outdoor living —also known as community cats. A simple spay/neuter surgery, food supply, and an inexpensive shelter could be all that a cat in this situation may need —especially if they are unsocialized or feral. Please note that we are unable to take in feral cats. We recommend utilizing the Trap-Neuter-Return method for feral cats.
If you have found a stray dog in Isabella County, you may bring the dog to our facility where they will have access to appropriate food, shelter, and medical treatment. If the dog has ID tags, please attempt to reunite the pet with their owner first.
Please call ahead to make sure we are open and available for an intake. If it is outside of regular business hours you may choose to keep the animal safe until we reopen or call Central Dispatch at (989) 773-1000 for assistance.
If you wish to house the dog you have found while searching for the owners, it’s important to submit a found report. We will be able to assist with scanning the dog for a microchip and checking lost reports.
What if I'm not comfortable approaching the animal?
We never suggest putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. If you have found a stray dog and are uncomfortable approaching it for any reason, please contact Isabella County Central Dispatch at (989) 773-1000 to report the current location of the dog.