What To Do If You Find a Lost Pet in Jacksonville, FL
Occasionally, we hear the question, "I found an abandoned dog nearby! What do I do?" Luckily, concern citizens have access to several places for help in Jax. Lost pets wandering a park, street or urban area should be brought to your nearest shelter as soon as possible, and we have some of the most important information about what to do with local abandoned animals.
What To Do When You Find a Dog or Cat in Jax
- Carefully catch and capture the pet. Call Jacksonville's animal control at (904) 247-6167 if the animal seems aggressive and you're not comfortable catching it yourself.
- Check for an ID tag. A collar or ID tag may sport the pet owner's contact information.
- Take the pet to animal control or a nearby animal shelter to scan for a microchip. See the next section for addresses.
- Put up notices.
- Post on social media, such as this local Facebook group. Email [email protected] to connect with the Lost and Found Pets of Northeast Florida's official page.
- Email [email protected] to get the pet posted COJ.net.
- Also, consider posting physical fliers nearby.
- Consider other options, such as Craigslist and national lost pet registries.
Where to Bring Lost Pets in Jacksonville, FL
For those who have already safely captured and checked an abandoned dog, what to do next is to bring it to a local shelter to have it checked and cared for. Even if you plan on keeping the pet in the interim, it may be a good idea to have the shelter scan for a microchip, register the pet, check its general health and put up more notices for the owner. These are the two most common places to bring the pet.
Jacksonville Humane Society
8464 Beach Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32216
Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services (ACPS)
2020 Forest Street
Jacksonville, FL 32204
After reporting lost pets, Jacksonville, FL, locals should consider either adopting them or placing them with a shelter that has the best chance of adoption. Besides the Humane Society and ACPS, there are plenty of other shelters for Jacksonville's lost pets.
What if you've found a different type of pet, like a lost bird, lost reptile or lost farm animal? Try these shelters instead:
- For lost birds, like parrots, talk to Ziggy's Haven Bird Sanctuary.
- For lost livestock or farm animals, connect with Celestial Farms.
- For pet reptiles and snakes, connect with Ace's Reptile Emporium or Southern Reptile Haven.
- For lost ferrets, connect with Carpet Sharks Ferret Rescue Shelter.
- For lost rabbits, connect with the Gainesville Rabbit Rescue.
- Note that you can also place the lost pet with a shelter that places specific breeds of dogs, such as the Mastiff Rescue of Florida the Pug Rescue of Florida, Sunshine Corgi Rescue or the Coastal Poodle Rescue.
Animal Abandonment Laws in Florida
For the most part, lost pets are lost by accident, but it's important to know that willful abandonment is not legal in the state of Florida.
Abandoning an animal in Florida is a misdemeanor. Under the official dog abandonment laws (828.13), abandonment is defined as "to forsake an animal entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for care and support of an animal by its owner."
Jacksonville also has its own specific laws about pet abandonment. Jacksonville, FL, locals are not permitted to leave the animal "upon or beside any street, road or other public or private place," nor are they permitted to cage a confine an animal without providing water, food and sufficient space to stand and turn completely around. If you believe, in this case, that local animal cruelty laws have been broken, call (904) 630-CITY or (904) 630-2489.
How to Help Abandoned Animals Locally
If you want to know how to help animal abandonment issues in Jacksonville, connect with one or several of the many local animal shelters. You can volunteer, contribute to one of their fundraisers, donate money or food, encourage friends and family to adopt a pet rather than buy, adopt your own pet, consider fostering a pet or simply engage with their social media. Learn how you can help the Jax Humane Society.
If you do end up adopting a pet that you've found, be sure to connect with us, your local vet. For abandoned pets who recently came off the streets or from the wilderness, checks and shots will need to be done to ensure their overall health.