You picked up a stray cat or kitten, dog or puppy now what?

Don’t panic! You’re pawesome for coming to their rescue but there is a big responsibility that comes along with rescuing an animal. Trust us we know! Here are some steps you should follow to successfully complete your rescue and continue being a pet hero.


Do not ever mix a found animal in with your own pets. You don’t know if they’re sick and bringing them into a new scenario after being lost on the streets can be a recipe for disaster.

First Things First! Check for a Microchip

Take the animal to a fire station, vet or rescue to see if it has a microchip. This service is free of charge. If the animal does have a chip the vet’s office or shelter will contact the company. It is against the law for us to disclose the owner’s information.

In a perfect scenario the owner will have all information up to date and come to the location to pick up their animal.

Before going to a shelter or rescue

Call ahead to check if space is available and what the impound process is. Most shelters like ours are space available meaning we are always full and have a waitlist, however, every shelter is different. If there is no space available there is a waitlist option. It can take between two weeks to a couple of months for space to become available because it’s dependant on the rate of adoption, which we do not have control of.

But it’s not my pet?

Although it’s not your animal, you are now responsible for it because you volunteered to pick it up. We do not want to discourage anyone from helping stray or lost animals, however, it is a big task and requires patience.

Other options

Post pictures of the animal online on sites such as:

Lost Pets of El Paso Facebook page

Keep in mind not everyone is online so making fliers and posting them around your neighborhood or at pet stores and rescues is a good idea. Make sure to include where and when the animal was found, and your contact information.

The Best Option

Turn the found animal into El Paso Animal Services. Most hesitate to turn an animal into the city’s shelter, however, this is the first place an owner will go to find their lost pet.

If an animal is microchipped it will be held for 6 days. If an animal is not microchipped it will be held for 3 days.

If an animal is not reclaimed there is a possibility it will be made available for adoption through the city’s V.I.P Program (Virtually Irresistible Pets) or transferred to a local rescue.