When you’ve found a stray animal, you need to decide whether you’re willing and able to hold onto it for a few days while looking for an owner or if you need to bring it to a shelter. Consider whether you’re willing to expose your household to an animal that may not be accustomed to other pets or children in your home and may not be current on vaccinations.
Taking the stray animal to a shelter
If you found the animal in Ada County – including in Boise, Garden City, Eagle, Kuna or Meridian city limits – you can bring it to the Idaho Humane Society. We have animal control contracts with these areas and can accept any strays that came from those jurisdictions. If you found the stray in another city, you can still bring it to the IHS shelter, but you will have to pay a relinquishment fee ($30 for a dog and $20 for a cat) or contact the animal control office or shelter for your area:
- West Valley Humane Society
Phone: 208-455-5920 or 208-455-5925
Address: 5801 Gray Lane, Caldwell
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- MCPAWS Regional Animal Shelter (Valley County): 208-634-3647
- Mountain Home Animal Shelter: 208-587-2111
- City of Star Veterinary Clinic (which takes in stray dogs only, there are no services for cats): 208-286-0440
- Conrad Strays (Cat rescue in Middleton): 208-585-9665
We hold stray dogs for 6 days while we attempt to locate an owner. On the seventh day, the dog becomes the property of the Idaho Humane Society. Because of the high volume of cats we receive, there is no holding period for cats. When a cat arrives with identification or a microchip, we will hold the cat for 3 days while we attempt to locate an owner.
Keeping the stray animal with you while you look for an owner
- Get the animal scanned for a microchip. Many pets have a tiny, permanent form of identification called a microchip embedded near their shoulder blades under the skin. The only way to tell if an animal has a microchip is to visit the Idaho Humane Society or your local veterinarian’s office to have the pet scanned. If we find a microchip when scanning a pet at our facility, we are obligated to reunite that pet with its owner. The owner listed on the microchip will be contacted and the pet will not be able to leave the shelter with you. The only exception to this rule is if contact is made with the owner while you are still at the shelter, arrangements to get the pet back to its owner are made and the owner gives permission for you to leave the shelter with their pet.
- File a found report with the Idaho Humane Society. Even if you would prefer to keep the animal in your home while attempting to locate an owner, it’s important for us to have information about found animals in our file. It is best for you to bring the animal out to our shelter to do this. We are located at 4775 Dorman St. and open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.
- Get the word out. Put ads in the lost/found and pets sections of Craigslist and key an eye on local missing pet groups on Facebook.
- Keep us updated. Please remember to call us once you’ve located the stray animal’s owner so we can remove the report!