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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Lost Animal Information

Animal Services takes in stray animals found in DuPage County. If a stray animal has identification, the owner is immediately notified. Unfortunately, less than 25% of lost dogs and 1% of lost cats sheltered at Animal Services have identification. Animal Services makes every attempt to match up animal lost reports with incoming strays.

Immediately after Losing an Animal

  • Call our office at (630) 407-2800 or submit missing animal report online. Please be very specific when you enter your report so that we can easily compare the information.
  • Visit our shelter at least once a week in-person to search for your pet. This is very important! Even if your pet was wearing tags at the time it was lost, the tags or collar may have fallen off or been removed. Also, if your pet is a mixed-breed, a very rare breed, or domestic short-haired cat, descriptions may not be sufficient to properly identify the animal. You must visit the shelter in-person at least once a week to search for your lost pet!
  • Bring a 3' x 5' photo of your pet and/or your pet's Lost Flyer to the shelter to be attached to your pet's lost report. This greatly assists us in matching up lost and found reports.
  • Call your police department and the police departments of all the towns surrounding you to report the animal lost. Ask them where they hold their strays. Contact all local stray holding facilities and animal controls to report your animal lost. Visit these holding facilities every few days in person to look for your pet!
  • In addition to notifying police departments and animal controls of your lost pet, also call any nearby animal hospitals to notify them of your missing pet.
  • If your pet is microchipped, notify the microchip manufacturer that your pet is missing and update your contact information.
  • Post LOST PET flyers around the area where your pets was lost.
  • Watch for "found" fliers or ads in the area where your pet was lost. Respond to any that even remotely fit the description of your pet!
  • Run a LOST PET ad in the local paper. Include a description and a reward (see below).
  • Add a lost pet report to missing pet websites (Lost Dogs of Illinois, Lost Cats of Illinois, Helping Lost Pets, Fido Finder, Craigslist, etc.)


Many people who find lost pets erroneously assume the animal has been abandoned, especially if it is not wearing i.d. tags. You need to try to reach the people who are most likely to find your pet!

  • Most lost pets are found within a 10-block radius of where they were lost.
    Saturate this area with fliers that include:
    • a photo
    • description (breed, color, sex, identifying features or markings)
    • date lost
    • major intersection closest to where animal was lost
    • your phone number.
  • Offering a reward will encourage people to look for and return your pet to you! Make it clear to reward-seekers that your pet must be returned to you in order to receive the reward. Remember, NO PET = NO REWARD.

Lost Cats

If you've lost a cat, he may be hiding nearby in a dark, quiet place. Search these areas within a two block radius. Place the cat's litter box outside to help him find his way home.

He may also have been "taken in" by a well-meaning neighbor. Go door-to-door within a two block radius to search for him.

Don't Give Up!

Many animals are returned to owners within a few days of being lost. However, it may take several weeks or months to find a lost pet! This is especially true for cats and animals not wearing identification.


  • Microchipping, a permanent form of identification, is also a great way to ensure a lost pet will be returned to you.