Finding Your Lost Pet

Peoria County Animal Protection Services (PCAPS) takes in stray animals found in Peoria County as well surrounding counties. If a stray animal has identification (rabies tag or microchip), PCAPS notifies the owner immediately. However, tags and microchips are not a guarantee. Collars can be removed, and microchips can migrate. PCAPS holds strays only three full working days before placing the animal up for adoption, or in the worst case, euthanizing the animal. Only you know what your pet looks like - you (or someone who knows what your animal looks like) must begin looking for your pet immediately.

The top three things you can do to help find your pet:

  • Start looking for your pet immediately - both in your neighborhood and at the local shelters.lunah
  • Don’t stop looking - people have found their pets sometimes years later.
  • Check shelters every day.

The most important thing to remember is to keep a collar and tag on your pet at all times, and microchip them if you can. It may be their only way home!

If You've Lost Your Pet

  • Visit PCAPS immediately to look for your pet.  PCAPS is the only open admission animal shelter and animal control facility in Peoria County, but you may obtain a list of other shelters in surrounding areas while at PCAPS.
  • Click the "Lost My Pet" button on our Pet Harbor website.  Keep in mind, not all incoming strays will have photos or 100% accurate descriptions.  It is still best to come to the shelter to look for your pet.
  • Contact waste removal companies and highway departments. They may be able to tell you if your pet was found deceased on the road.
  • Plan to visit the shelters at least once every three days. Only you know what your pet looks like. Do not rely on phone calls. Shelters handle thousands of animals and may easily fail to recognize a stray animal from a written or verbal description.
  • If you're missing your cat, be sure to check inside your home thoroughly. Sometimes cats may get mistakenly shut in closets or cupboards. And, check immediately outside your home- under the porch, in bushes, or at your neighbors' homes. Inside cats suddenly faced with the outdoors may panic and hide. Many times they're too frightened to even respond to your voice, so check thoroughly.
  • Check the Lost Dogs Illinois website and the Lost Dogs Illinois Facebook Page. Post your dog's information as well as your contact information.
  • Contact veterinary offices in your area to see if the animal was brought to them injured. Or, if a stranger has found and kept your pet, they may take it in for a veterinary examination.
  • Post notices in local grocery stores, laundromats, on utility poles, etc. near the area the animal was lost.
  • Talk to your mail carrier, newspaper carrier, and neighborhood children to learn if they've seen your pet. Inform them of any reward.
  • Search: Walk and drive through the neighborhood looking for and calling for your pet. Talk to neighbors and anyone who may have been working in the area such as lawn caretakers, street crews, and meter readers. Check parks, schools, and other homes- any place the animal may have gone for food or shelter. If your pet is frightened or injured, it may be hiding. Check under cars, porches, or in window wells and trees.
  • Above all, never give up hope. It may be a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks before you find your pet. Your success is dependent upon your continuous effort.

Prevention

  • Keep a collar on your pet at all times with a current rabies registration tag and an identification tag with your name, address, and phone.
  • Keep your pet confined to your property at all times.
  • Have your pet microchipped- permanent identification. Consult your veterinarian for more information.

If You've Found an Animal

  • If the animal is wearing a rabies tag, call PCAPS to trace the owner.
  • Contact the owner immediately and arrange for the animal's return.
  • If the pet is not wearing a tag, visit your veterinarian or PCAPS to have the animal scanned for a microchip. If a microchip is detected, the number can be traced to locate the owner.
  • Report the animal's description and condition to PCAPS and other local shelters.
  • Keep the animal confined for its own protection.
  • Look for lost pet fliers in your area.
  • Check the Lost Dogs Illinois Facebook Page or the Lost Dogs Illinois website to see if the dog has been reported missing. 
  • If you cannot keep the animal confined, please call PCAPS or take it to the shelter. Most pet owners will visit the shelter for their lost pets.