If you've lost your pet or found someone else, your first step should be to file a report, in person, at the Miami-Dade Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center, which is open seven days a week. (except for County holidays) Animal Services employees are available to help you search in all areas of the facility.
Animal Services receives approximately 100 animals and can legally hold found dogs or cats for three days before making them available for adoption.Your quick action is crucial in helping reunite pets with their humans.
If you lost your pet visit the Pet Adoption and Protection Center as soon as possible to check if your pet was picked up and turned in to the shelter. The Center is open Monda through Friday 10 am to 6:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 4 pm. Closed on County holidays. Bring a photo of your pet and any other documentation that can prove ownership should you find the animal when you visit. Animal Services employees are available to help you search in all areas of the facility.
Call 311 to request that a Lost Pet Report is documented for the lost pet.
You can aso visit the website: www.petharbor.com and view the pets to see if your pet was at ASD's Pet Center. If it is, then you should go to ASD as soon as possible to claim your pet. If you are unable to visit the Center immediately, ask a friend or contact a Rescue Group to retrieve and hold the pet until you are able to get the pet back. Fees may be incurred.
Dogs over six months of age are held back from being adopted out for three days as per County Ordinance.
Pet Recovery Tips
- Create lost pet flyers. Include your contact information and a detailed description of your pet. Bring color copies of the flyer with you during your visit to Animal Services
- You can search the Center's Stray or Found Dog database, but be sure to visit in person with the corresponding ID number
- Although it is difficult, check the deceased pet log located in the Center's Lost & Found office. The log is updated daily and will give you and your family closure
- Register your lost dog (Lost DOG Registration), lost cat (Lost CAT Registration) or lost pet - other than a dog or a cat - (Lost OTHER Registration) with Pet Harbor
- Post your pet on Petco Love Lost, a free mobile app that helps pet owners find their lost dogs in real-time using facial recognition technology
- Search other local animal shelters and websites such as The Miami Herald’s pets classified section, pets911.com and dogdetective.com.
Dogs over six months of age can only be held back from being adopted out for three days as per County Ordinance, due to the large population of pets in the shelter.
According to County ordinance, anyone who finds a lost dog or cat must notify the County's Animal Services Department and have the dog or cat scanned for a microchip within 72 hours to find out if it's registered to an owner.
Use this form to properly notify Miami-Dade County Animal Services. Failure to do so may result in civil penalty.
Petco Love Lost and Pet Harbor are additional sites that can help you to reunite your found pet with his or her owner.
- Register and post photos of found pets on Petco Love Lost
- Register your found dog Found Dog Registration, found cat Found Cat Registration or found pet - other than a dog or a cat - Found Other Registration with Pet Harbor
If you find a dog or cat with no license tag or other identification you are legally required to notify the County's Animal Services Department and have the animal scanned for a microchip within 72 hours to find out if the animal is registered to an owner. You can have the animal scanned at a private veterinarian or at the Animal Services Pet Adoption and Protection Center
- Use this form to notify Animal Services about a found dog or cat
- In the comments section of the form let us know you want to adopt and keep the animal if an owner is not found
- If the microchip scan reveals that the dog is registered to an owner, you must contact the registered owner within 24 hours
- You may hold the pet in your home while efforts are made to find a possible owner
- After compliance with notifying Animal Services and efforts to find an owner, there is a three-day holding period to allow a possible owner time to claim the pet.
- If no owner has been found or come forward after the three-day holding period, you are free to adopt the pet.
Owners must pay a fee and present the pet's rabies certificate to redeem their pet.
If the rabies certificate is not available, the pet will not be released until the rabies shot is obtained.
Redemption fees vary. Refer to the fee list below:
- Redemption (sterilized dog), $50 - plus $10 boarding per day
- Subsequent redemption (sterilized dog) within 12 months, $75 - plus $10 boarding per day
- Redemption (not sterilized dog), $100 - plus $10 boarding per day
- Subsequent redemption (not sterilized dog) within 12 months, $125 - plus $10 boarding per day
- Redemption (sterilized cat), $30 - plus $5 boarding per day
- Subsequent redemption (not sterilized cat) within 12 months, $60 - plus $5 boarding per day
- Redemption (not sterilized cat), $50 - plus $5 boarding per day
- Subsequent redemption (not sterilized cat) within 12 months, $85 - plus $5 boarding per day
To ensure the best chances of survival for "found" newborn kittens, Animal Services advises residents to consider the following recommendations:
- Watch from a distance
- Don't touch or move them. Instead, watch them from a distance to see if the mother is there. The mother stays continually with her litter for the first day or two after giving birth, she will need to leave them for short periods of time to find food.
- It is common for a mother to move her kittens to a new location. This is because establishing a new nest is part of the cat's instinctual behavior to safeguard her young by not remaining in one place too long.
- Do not interfere with the kittens or their nest since this may stress the mother and cause her to abandon her family. If you really want to help, provide food and water dishes for the mother far enough away from the nest so you do not disturb her or the kittens, or draw predators, such as raccoons, to the nest area.
Are they in immediate danger?
- If the kittens are in immediate danger such as underneath a car, or one that is flooded, find the nearest safe area to which you can move them that will still allow the mother to find them. Place them in a sheltered area, away from direct sun, rain or traffic and continue to watch for the mother.
When to intervene
- If you determine that the mother is friendly, the best approach is to take her and the kittens indoors until the kittens are old enough to be weaned, sterilized and adopted.
- After you have observed the kittens for 12 to 24 hours and are sure the mother is not likely to return, or if the kittens are clearly in poor health or injured, then by all means pick them up and care for them. Alleycat.org offers great tips on caring for newborn kittens.
- Be aware that sometimes, no matter what you do, some neonatal kittens do not survive and can fade very fast. You can only try to be the best surrogate guardian possible and hope for the best.
Feeding & Elimination
- Prepare for bottle-feeding and proper care before you take the kittens off the street.
- If you feel you must take the kittens in, wrap the carrier you will transport them in a towel for warmth, but make sure you leave air holes uncovered so the kittens won't suffocate.
- Check to see if the kittens are warm. This is more important than feeding. Never feed a cold kitten! If the kittens are cold, you will need to warm them up slowly. You can tell a kitten is cold if the pads of his feet and ears feel cool or cold. Put your finger in the kitten's mouth. If it feels cold, then the kitten's temperature is too low. This is life-threatening and must be dealt with immediately. Warm up the kitten slowly over one to two hours by wrapping him in a polar fleece towel, holding him close to your body, and continually rubbing him with your warm hands.
- Determine the age of the kittens by comparing them to the photos and descriptions on the Kitten Progression: Week-by-Week. Newborn kittens need to be fed and stimulated for elimination every three hours around-the-clock.
Milk Replacement Formula
- Neonatal kittens (under four weeks of age) cannot eat solid food (canned nor dry) and cannot urinate or defecate on their own, so you must bottle-feed them around-the-clock and stimulate their genitals after every feeding so they can eliminate. For example, if you have kittens less than one week old, they will need to be fed and stimulated every three hours. That means you will be caring for them eight times a day — for example, at midnight, 3 a.m., 6 a.m., etc. If the kittens are unusually small or sickly, they might need to be fed every two hours.
- Skipping feedings or overfeeding can cause diarrhea, which results in dehydration, a condition that can be fatal for small kittens. Diarrhea requires a visit to the veterinarian. As the kittens age, the number of feedings they need per day goes down. You can start weaning at four weeks of age.
Tip: Using unflavored Pedialyte electrolyte solution instead of water when mixing the powdered formula for the first 24 hours of feeding helps prevents diarrhea and eases the transition from mom's milk to commercial kitten milk replacement formula.For more information, visit the Alley Cat Allies website.
- Powdered kitten milk replacement formula is better for kittens than the canned liquid formula. We recommend that you use only powdered kitten milk replacement formula from the start, or as soon as possible, to prevent diarrhea. Two major brands of formula are available: PetAg KMR® Powder and Farnam Pet Products Just Born® Highly Digestible Milk Replacer for Kittens. Both brands are available in both canned and powdered formulas. We highly recommend the powdered type to prevent diarrhea. It can be purchased at pet food stores, veterinarians' offices, or online.
- Make sure that the powdered formula you are using is fresh by opening the pop-top and smelling it. It should smell slightly sweet, like powdered milk. If it has a sharp smell like bad cooking oil, cheese, or chemicals, it is rancid, and dangerous to give to the kittens. Do not use any type of formula past the expiration date. Once opened, kitten milk replacement formula (canned or powdered) must be refrigerated promptly and stored in the refrigerator. You cannot keep opened kitten milk replacement formula out of the refrigerator for very long before it spoils. Think of it as fresh milk.
Lost and Found
311 or 305-468-5900311 or 305-468-5900
Email / Mail
- Lost and Found
Lost and Found
Miami-Dade Animal Services
3599 NW 79 Avenue
Doral FL 33122