Regulatory Services

Minneapolis Animal Care
& Control

212 17th Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55411

911 for Emergencies (Animal Attacks)

Call 311 (non-emergency issues)

612-673-MACC (6222)
Fax: 612-673-6255

Journey

Stray Animals

Minneapolis Animal Care & Control (MACC) works to reduce the number of stray animals in our city. Per state law, Minneapolis Animal Care & Control must hold stray animals for five days for owners to reclaim them. Stray animals that are not reclaimed are put up for adoption at the shelter or transferred to a partner rescue group for re-homing if they are healthy and of good temperament.

What to do if you find:

Looking for a lost pet?

If you’re looking for a lost pet, check our lost dog, lost cat, or lost small animals lists to see if your pet is currently in our shelter. If you do not see your animal on our website, we recommend also checking the following places:

What to do if you find stray kittens or cats

Often the best thing to do for kittens or cats in your neighborhood is to leave them alone. Only bring cats or kittens to Minneapolis Animal Care & Control if they are sick, injured or in immediate danger. Minneapolis Animal Care & Control cannot provide the around-the-clock care that kittens need. And lost cats are more likely to find their owners if they are left where they are. Less than 7% of cats brought to Minneapolis Animal Care & Control are reunited with their owners.

Kittens

Leave litters alone. Like all babies, kittens are best left with their mother who instinctively knows how to help her offspring grow up and be healthy.

Only bring kittens to Minneapolis Animal Care & Control if they are:

Don’t kit-nap baby kittens. If the kitten’s eyes are closed and/or they are unable to walk and they are quiet, leave them alone. The mother is likely nearby and could be gone for a few hours. If the kittens are meowing, stay about 30 feet away and check to see if the mom comes back. Only if there is no sign of her after several hours, you should consider:

  1. Caring for the kittens yourself.
  2. Finding a friend, neighbor or family member that can care for the kittens.
  3. Contacting a local rescue group, consider one of our approved partner rescue organizations.

Cats

Only bring cats to Minneapolis Animal Care & Control if they are:

If you’ve seen a cat in your neighborhood for a while, and it doesn’t seem ill or injured, it’s likely the cat’s basic needs are being met. It makes sense that to survive outside, the cat has developed strategies to keep safe and found places to stay dry, warm and fed. If the cat seems to be ok – living, even thriving – you shouldn’t remove him/her from that environment. Not all cats are adjusted to living inside; for some, outside is where they call home and are most comfortable and happy.

What to do when you find a lost cat

If you believe the cat is owned and lost, follow these steps to help reunite the cat with its owner:  

1. Check for tags.

If you can safely approach the cat, look for a collar and identification tags. Many cats are returned home when you use the information on their tags. Do not remove the collar from the cat.

Rabies tags and license tags usually have phone numbers on them, and a unique number issued to the cat so calling on those tags can also be helpful.

2. Take some photos.

Snap some photos of the cat in good lighting. Try to get street signs or the area where you found the cat in the background. Make sure to feature any identifying marks.

3. Check for a microchip.

Take the cat to your nearest vet clinic to check for a microchip. Be sure to call ahead.

If the cat has a microchip, talk with the vet about getting the information of the individual associated with the microchip. If there is no microchip, put the cat back where you found it. Many cats are indoor/outdoor and can find their way back home.

4. Post the cat on lost and found social media pages.

Facebook, your neighborhood Nextdoor, and the "Lost and Found" or "Pets" sections on Craigslist in your city are great social media pages to start with. Post a picture showing exactly how the cat looked when you found it. The Animal Humane Society also has an online bulletin board where you can post found animals.

Be sure to check the lost postings on all these sites as well as an owner may have already posted their cat. 

What to do when you find a lost dog

1. Check for tags.

If you can safely approach the dog, look for a collar and identification tags. Many dogs are returned home when you use the information on their tags.

Rabies tags and license tags usually have phone numbers on them, and a unique number issued to the dog so calling on those tags can also be helpful. If there are no tags or the tags are a dead-end proceed to step 2.

If the dog is too skittish or dangerous to approach you can still continue with steps 2, 3 and 5. Dogs are more comfortable with their owners than strangers so posting where the dog was last seen, where it was headed or any other helpful information can help an owner know where to search.

2. Knock on doors.

Most lost dogs are found very close to their home. Walk the dog around your neighborhood and see if anyone recognizes it. Most dogs travel less than a mile when loose.

If the dog is visibly injured or sick and its owner cannot be located quickly, please call Minneapolis Animal Care & Control at 311 or 612-673-6222 to discuss drop off or pick up options for the dog to ensure prompt medical attention.

3. Take some photos.

Snap some photos of the dog in good lighting. Try to get street signs or the area where you found the dog in the background.

Do NOT alter the appearance of the dog by removing the collar, giving a haircut, adding clothing or removing clothing it had on when you found it.

4. Check for a microchip.

Take the dog to your nearest vet clinic to check for a microchip. Be sure to call ahead.

If the dog has a microchip, talk with the vet about getting the information of the individual associated with the microchip.

5. Post the dog on lost and found social media pages.

Facebook, your neighborhood Nextdoor, and the "Lost and Found" or "Pets" sections on Craigslist in your city are great social media pages to start with. Post a picture showing exactly how the dog looked when you found it. The Animal Humane Society also has a webpage where you can post found animals.

Be sure to check the lost postings on all these sites as well as an owner may have already posted their dog.

6. Report the dog to Minneapolis Animal Care & Control.

If you don’t find the owner with steps 1-5 and you’re willing to continue to hold onto the dog, contact Minneapolis Animal Care & Control by calling 311 or 612-673-6222 to make a found report.

This is the first place many residents look for their lost dog. We will ask for information about the dog, where you found it and how the owners can contact you.

If you are unable to continue to hold onto the dog, you can also contact Minneapolis Animal Care & Control to request we pick it up.

7. Hang posters.

Create bright, colorful found posters and post in a one-mile radius around the area you found the dog.

The posters should be big enough that people can see them passing by quickly in a car, with large text indicating “found dog,” a basic description and a large, clear photo. Don’t try to guess the breed, age, etc. in case you’re incorrect. Stick to colors and unique identifying features so many people will respond.

Providing the posters to veterinary clinics in this area is also helpful. They may know the dog or were notified by the owner they are looking for it.

Make every attempt to find the dog’s owner

Keep in mind you must make every attempt to find the dog’s owner before you can keep it or re-home it. Animals are considered property and taking in or giving away an animal without trying to find its owner is stealing. If you’re worried about the welfare of the animal you found, you can contact Minneapolis Animal Care & Control to discuss concerns about returning the animal to its owner. Remember, some lost animals are out on their own for a long time so just because they don’t seem well-cared for doesn’t mean they were neglected by their owner.

Last updated Aug 14, 2020

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