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(240) 252-2555 (voice)

(240) 547-4308 (fax)

601 So. Stonestreet Ave.

Rockville, MD 20850

Business Hours


Seven days a week

Lost and Found

Lost and


Make sure that both dogs and cats wear a collar with an I.D. at all times

Prevention is the Best Strategy!

While no one method is failsafe, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the likelihood your pet disappears or becomes a stray.

Keep cats indoors and do not allow them to roam. Let your cat out only if you can be right there watching.

Keep dogs under restraint, either indoors or in a fenced yard from which they can’t escape. Keep doors, windows and gates securely latched, including those in your car.

Don’t leave your pet outside alone all day, and make sure that a responsible person who can control it walks it on a leash.

Make sure that both dogs and cats wear a collar with I.D. at all times. Montgomery County law requires that all dogs and cats over the age of 4 months have a current rabies vaccination and a county license. You never know what might happen –- escapes can and do happen, even to the most responsible pet owners. A license and I.D. tag help ensure that a pet will be returned and makes strangers more likely to give it aid if they know that the pet is current on its rabies shot.

If you are traveling, attach an ID to your pet’s collar with your temporary contact information. Most pet supply stores sell inexpensive tags.

Have your pet microchipped. It’s a requirement for animals adopted at our shelter. Inserted under the skin, a microchip is the size of a grain of rice and identifies your animal when it is "scanned" by a scanning device. The scanner is "passed" over the animal and "reads" the microchip, which gives an identifying number and some letters. This number can be searched in a database of registered animals. When found, the owner’s information can be accessed by calling a toll-free number.  Then you can be called and arrangements made for your lost pet to return home.

Note that microchipping is effective only if you as the owner have also registered your contact information with the manufacturer of your pet’s chip.  Don’t forget to do this at the same time your pet is chipped!

Microchips should be used in addition to a collar and ID tags.  ID tags and collar are visible from a distance and let people know instantly that the animal has an owner.  A microchip goes a big step further, saving time, stress and worry for both the owner and the lost pet.  In the event of a disaster, a microchip can make a real difference in reuniting owners and their pets.  Millions of dogs and cats have been safely chipped over a 15-year period and numerous reunions have resulted, even after months or years.  MCHS will microchip your pet for a minimal fee.

Consider also getting your pet tattooed. The technology for scanning microchips may vary and there is not yet a universal standard that all vets and shelters use. A tattoo in addition to a microchip gives an additional layer of identification -– it is usually a combination of letters and numbers chosen by the pet’s owner -– and has the added advantage that, if your dog is ever stolen, the tattoo prevents a medical facility from using the dog for research. Contact your vet or your local shelter to find out about tattoo clinics that may be scheduled in your area.

For both microchipping and tattoos, the owner’s information must be registered with the sponsoring organization for the lost and found process to work. The chip or tattoo is the first half of the process; registration is what makes it possible for the sponsors to locate the owner and report on the whereabouts of the pet so reunions can happen.

A pet who is spayed or neutered will be more content to stay at home and not wander in search of the opposite sex.

Be prepared:  Make posters now so you won’t have to start from scratch when you’re first upset. Have your pet’s current information and a recent color photo handy, ideally showing you and your pet together in case there’s a question over who is the pet’s caregiver. Update this information every 6 months to 1 year and keep it readily accessible in case the unthinkable happens. It’s also handy in case you have to evacuate during an emergency.

Even older dogs can escape. And simply because they are older, they are also at greater risk due to diminished senses.

This page last updated 3-3-15



601 South Stonestreet Avenue | Rockville, MD 20850
Main Number: (240) 252-2555