Important Tips for Lost & Found Animals
Looking for Your Pet? Search the Stray Animals Currently at HHS


If you have found a stray cat or dog, there are a number of things you can do to help get the lost pet home and keep both you and the animal safe.

Please be sure to approach all animals with care. A strange, frightened, and possibly sick or injured animal can behave unpredictably. Move slowly, and remain in your car or at a safe distance if you feel unsafe (in this case, calling your local Police or Animal Control is the best option). If you are able to get the animal on a leash or into your car, try to keep the animal secured (in a back seat or on leash) until you can get the animal to safety.

  • Look for a tag. If there’s an ID tag, contact the owner immediately.
  • If there is no ID tag, bring the animal to a local vet, shelter or animal control to be scanned for a microchip.
  • Post a photo of the animal onto Finding Rover to help reach a broader population.
  • Bring the animal to Harbor Humane Society or call Animal Control to help transport. Harbor Humane is the safest option for a found animal to be housed! Found animals have the best chance at getting back home if they are brought to us for their stray hold. We will also post to local lost animal pages and work with our resources to hopefully get in touch with the owner.
  • If the owner is not found, the animal will become available for adoption after their stray hold is up.

Ottawa County Animal Control: #616-738-4033

A stray cat who is healthy and friendly likely belongs to someone in your neighborhood. Cats have a far better chance of reuniting with their owner when they’re left in the area in which they’re found. Less than five percent of stray cats that are brought into shelters are reclaimed by their owners. For this reason, we encourage you to leave healthy and friendly cats where you discovered them. If you do not believe the cat is owned, please call the shelter at 616-399-2119, and attempt to get the cat into a cage to be safely transported to the shelter.


Having your pet go missing can be a nerve wracking experience. Harbor Humane is the contracted animal shelter with Ottawa County – we are the first place people should look for your lost animal! Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Contact your local animal shelter immediately to file a lost report. Even better, go in person and file the report and look at the lost animals in person.
  • Look for your pet as soon as possible! Cats are especially good at hiding and may be as close as your backyard. Check under bushes, cars, decks and porches, garages, in sheds, garages, wood piles, etc.
  • Spread the word! Talk with your neighbors. Post flyers with pictures! Use social media and sites like Facebook, Nextdoor or Craig’s List to post.
  • Mission Reunite
  • Lost Dog Search Tips
  • Lost Cat Search Tips
  • Get your pet microchipped with Harbor Humane as soon as you become the owner! Microchips greatly increase chances of reunion. For only $20, a microchip can be a life-saving tool! Walk in’s welcome during 12:30 – 4:30 on weekdays at the shelter.
  • Ensure your pet is always wearing a collar with an ID tag including your pet’s name, your name, and a contact number.


If you believe your lost pet is in the care of Harbor Humane, here’s how to proceed!

All animals who are brought in as strays are held for a certain length of time to allow the owner time to reunite. Animals with no identification are held for 4 days which does not include the day the animal arrived at HHS. Animals who have a collar or other form of identification are held for 7 days, not including the day the animal arrived at HHS.

Animals can be reclaimed during the following days and times*:

Sunday: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Monday-Friday: 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. -4 p.m.

To release a stray animal back to its owner, animals must have a rabies vaccination, a microchip, and a dog license if living in Ottawa County.

*There are factors which may prevent your animal from going home on the same day. Please confirm with us at 616.399.2119 to make sure you animal is ready for pick up.

If you believe your animal is at Harbor Humane Society, please contact us at 616.399.2119. You must show proof of ownership which could include a combination of the following:

  • ID tag, rabies tags, or license tags
  • Veterinary records
  • Current pictures
  • Registration papers
  • Detailed description of animal

Cost of Reclaiming a Stray Animal

Impound fee 1st offense: $55 (your animal will be micro chipped before going home with you!)

Impound fee 2nd offense: $100

Impound fee 3rd offense: $150

Boarding fee: $15/day

Rabies vaccine (if proof is not provided): $25

Dog License (If dog is from Ottawa County and does not currently have a license): $10 fee for dogs who are spayed/neutered, $25 fee for dogs who are NOT spayed/neutered.

Emergency vet care/exams: Price varies by procedure

Spay/Neuter Procedure (optional): Price varies

DO NOT LET THE COST OF RECLAIM PREVENT YOU FROM GETTING YOUR ANIMAL BACK! Fees can be worked with if you are facing financial hardship.

Additional Resources for Lost and Found Pets