Found Dogs -

Nearly all dogs who are found loose outside have families who desperately want them back! Your goal is not to find them a new family, but to help find the family they already have. Do not just keep a dog you found - they deserve to be reunited with their family.

Dakin cannot accept stray dogs to our facility. In Massachusetts, by law, stray dogs must be held by the animal control authority in the city or town where they were found. Animal Control for the Cities of Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee is Thomas J. O'Connor. Animal control divisions in other cities and towns can be found through your town website or police department. Dogs that were found stray can only be brought to Dakin after completing their legal stray hold with animal control.

If you are unable to immediately reach your local Animal Control Officer, visit the Missing Dogs Massachusetts online resource for information on how to best proceed.

Found Cats -

It’s natural for pet lovers to want to help an animal in need. Many people believe that if they see a cat outside who maybe even visits for meals every day, they need help. Usually, they don’t! Use this tool to determine if the cat you've spotted outside needs help.

If your feline visitor looks healthy but you're still concerned about them, you can do some detective work to find out if they have a family. Remember, cats are experts at getting what they want and can have multiple families feeding and interacting with them, all believing this cat is theirs!

Don't take the cat into your home. Let them come and go as they usually do.

•  Safely place a paper collar on the cat to find out if they have a family. Download our printable template here.

•  If you hear from this kitty's family - mission accomplished! This is a cat with outdoor access that has a family. If the cat has worn the collar for a week and you haven't received a call, move on to the next steps below.

Next Steps

Bring the cat to a veterinarian or animal shelter to be checked for a microchip

•  Contact your local Animal Control Officer and shelters

Put "FOUND CAT" flyers up at intersections in your area and post your flyer on social media

•  Check lost/found pet websites for local postings

Once you have completed all these steps and have not located the cat's family, it is then acceptable to keep them in your home, find them a new home, or contact a shelter for rehoming options.

Does Your Cat Go Outside?

To prevent a well-meaning neighbor from assuming your outdoor cat needs help and either keeping or bringing them to a shelter, be proactive. Ensure your cat is wearing a collar with your name and phone number on it at all times. In the event your cat's collar comes off, a microchip is a permanent way of identifying that a cat belongs to you when it is scanned at a veterinarian's office or animal shelter. Since microchips cannot be seen or felt without a scanner, a secure collar and ID tag is the best first method of alerting your neighbors that this kitty belongs to you.