Found Pets

Most animals are found close to home (on average, just a few houses away!) and a neighbor has a MUCH higher chance of helping a pet get home to their family than a shelter does. If you’re able to hold onto a stray pet temporarily while you look for the owner, you’re upping the odds that they’ll find their family while also helping shelters save space for sick or injured animals most in need!

There are many ways to help a pet get home. Most owners are found through microchips and social media!

1. Check for a Microchip

  • Local vet clinics, 24-hour emergency vet hospitals, PetSmart stores with Banfield clinics, and local shelters can scan a pet for a chip at no charge.
  • Take a photo of the microchip number, then enter the chip into the Pet Microchip Lookup website. The site will tell you which company the chip is registered with and provide you with a link to search the chip number on that website to get in contact with the pet owner.

2. Post on Social Media & Local Websites/Apps and Search Lost Reports

  • Facebook
    1. Post the pet on your own page, asking your social network to share. Post in & search through community groups such as “Talk of” groups, Neighborhood groups, local Lost/Found pet groups, etc. The Texas City community runs a dedicated “link to TC Lost/Found Pets page where stray, lost, and found pets are reported by residents.
    2. Texas City Lost & Found Pets | Facebook
    3. Texas City Talk | Facebook
  • NextDoor App
    1. NextDoor has proven to be crucial in reuniting pets with their families! If you don’t already have an account, ask a neighbor to post on your behalf while you wait to be approved!

3. Canvas the Neighborhood

  • Talk to Neighbors! 
    1. Walk the pet around the neighborhood and see if anyone recognizes it! Never underestimate the power of word of mouth!
  • Put up Signs! 
    1. Remember that not everyone is online. Put up signs or pass out flyers in the area where the pet was found (Tip: Include photos, animal’s coloring, special characteristics, and location found).
  • Be Kind! 
    1. Pets escape in all sorts of ways from all sorts of owners. Keep in mind that pets can look very different after they’ve gone missing and behavior that seems fearful could be what’s normal for them.

4. Get Support From Local Shelters

While surrendering a pet to a shelter should always be a last resort, your local shelter may be able to assist in other ways while you hold the pet!

  • Report the Found Pet
    1. Call the Galveston County Animal Resource Center at 409-948-2485 to report a found animal.
  • Can’t Find the Owner or Can’t Hold onto the Pet? 
    1. If you are unable to find the owner or simply cannot hold the pet while you search, please call the shelter during business hours at 409-948-2485 for the steps to have the pet surrendered to the shelter. If you wish to have one of our Animal Control Officers pickup the pet, please call our dispatch at 409-643-5720! 

5. Special Considerations for Cats

Around 35% of owners allow their cats to free roam, sometimes without visible identification like a collar or nametag. It’s very common for a cat owner to allow their cat to be outside or to be caretaker to a free-roaming “community cat” without an identifiable owner. Try the tips below before “catnapping” a community cat!

  • Use the Paper Collar Method
    1. Print out this template to see if the cat has a home nearby (PDF).
  • Look at the Ears
    1. If a small corner of the cat’s left ear has been surgically removed, that’s called an “ear tip” or “notch”. This is a universal sign of a community cat that has already been spayed or neutered. Community cats should not be disturbed unless they are sick or injured.
  • Check for a Chip
    1. Follow the tips above to check for a microchip!
  • Ask Neighbors
    1. Ask around to see if the cat is owned or being cared for within the community. Some neighbors have strong attachments to individual cats or know who the cat belongs to!
  • Can’t Find an Owner?
    1. Set a humane trap on your property for the cat. Once the cat is captured, contact our Animal Control Officers at 409-643-5720. We will be happy to come pick up the cat and impound it at the Galveston County Animal Resource Center. Just remember, all cats must be confined in a safe manner before pickup. Traps and carriers are recommended for safe transport.

Interested in letting the cat become a part of a TNR Program? Reach out to “Lifeline of Galveston County Facebook page” for resources and TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) information. Lifeline of Galveston County is a non-profit organization that is currently assisting the Texas City Animal Control Officers in a Trap/Neuter/Release program for our residents. They can assist in trapping, spaying/neutering, ear notching, and vaccinating our community cats!! Please reach out to them at or 409-797-6033.