Skip To Content

Lost Pet Recovery

Dog and Cat Pet Identification and Missing Pets in Chicago

Many thousands of pets go missing every year, and only a few are reunited with their families. Make sure your pet is wearing identification tags with current information (name, address, and phone number).  This will help you recover your pet if he or she wanders off.   Also, if your animal is injured and transported to a veterinarian by a good samaritan, the doctor can reach you for progress reports and medical decisions.  Remember – your pet is your responsibility, and any medical care your pet needs before you are contacted is your responsibility, even if you have not been contacted for authorization.

How to ID Your Pet

Follow these tips to make sure your dog has a proper ID at all times.

  • Affix rabies tag and license to your pet's collar as required by state or local law.
  • Add a tag with essential medical information for pets with medical problems.
  • Attach a temporary tag when traveling with your pet, with a contact name and phone number of where you’ll be staying.
  • A safe, implantable microchip, that is the size of a grain of rice, can also be lifesaving and lead to the safe return of your pet – please discuss this with your veterinarian. Most hospitals, shelters, and animal control departments have microchip readers that will provide them with your contact information and allow them to return your pet to you. Please be aware that a microchip is not a GPS tracker.
  • An ID number can be permanently tattooed on your pet.  This number can be registered with, The National Dog Registry ( or 800-NDR-DOGS).

There are only two Chicago facilities approved to hold stray dogs:

Chicago Animal Care & Control   

2741 S. Western Ave.  



Animal Welfare League

6224 S. Wabash Ave.


The Animal Care and Control shelter is open daily from noon to 7 pm for people to look for their lost pets. Typically strays are scanned on arrival for a microchip and checked for a dog license and/or rabies tag.  IIf your pet has a microchip is registered and/or is wearing their rabies tag, identification and reuniting them with you becomes simple. An identifiable pet owner will be notified by mail and phone. If a dog is identified but is not claimed by the owner within seven days, the dog becomes the city’s property. If a pet’s owner cannot be identified within five days, the animal becomes the property of the city.  If deemed adoptable, the dog may be offered for adoption at Animal Care and Control or transferred to another shelter or rescue group.

 Other places to contact if your pet is lost:

  • If you have lost your pet, please contact Metro Vet at 312-583-1921 and we will help get the word out!
  • Emergency clinics – often keep logs of lost pets in case they are brought in by a good Samaritan
  • The internet, especially newspaper websites under “Lost and Found”. 
  • You may want to file a report with:


Back To Top