What do I do if I find a pet?

The first thing to do if you find a lost dog, cat, bird, fish (well, maybe not a fish) is to safely approach the animal to check for tags and see if it is friendly. If you don't feel comfortable approaching the animal for whatever reason, call the local police or animal control for assistance.

If the animal is friendly and approachable but has no tags, ask around the neighborhood. It's likely that the pet didn't stray too far from home. Next, take the dog or cat to the nearest shelter or veterinary office to see if it has been microchipped.

If you still haven't been able to track down the owner and the animal does not appear to need urgent veterinary care, you may consider keeping the animal in your home temporarily. For reasons of safety, be sure to house this animal separately from your own pets with separate water/food bowls, bedding, etc. As an added precaution, wash your hands after handling this new foster pet until the animal has been properly vetted.

Take a photo of the pet and post flyers around town. Once you have a photo and/or description, send it to us, along with your contact information and the general location where this pet was found and we will post this information on our website. You may also want to post flyers in local veterinary offices, police stations, and animal shelters. While you're there, be sure to check in those locations for any lost pet flyers that may be posted.

If you do not find the owner after a few weeks and you have made every effort to find this animal's owner, you may either decide to keep the pet yourself or find it a new home. If you elect to keep the pet, make sure to take it to the veterinarian before you introduce it to the other pets in the household.

If you need to find it a new home and are located in Lansdowne, PA, contact us and, depending upon your location, we will direct you appropriately. If you are located outside of Lansdowne, check our resource pages for a listing of animal rescues in your area.

What do I do if I lost a pet?

Once you've discovered that your pet is missing, immediately contact the local animal control and nearby animal shelters. Call every day; do not rely on them to get back to you.

Post flyers around your neighborhood and at local shelters, veterinary offices, and police stations. If you are located in or near the Lansdowne, PA area, send us a photo and/or description of your pet, along with your contact information and the general location where this pet was lost and we will post this information on our Facebook page.

While collars and ID tags are certainly recommended, keep in mind that they can fall off, so please consider microchipping your pet, as well. It's the most reliable way to ensure that your lost pet makes its way back to you.

What do I do if I find feral cats and/or kittens?

If you find feral cats in your yard, the first thing you need to decide is if you are willing to let them stay on your property or if you want them removed.

If you are willing to provide these cats with food and shelter...

  • If you reside in Lansdowne, please contact us for help to trap these cats and take them to be spayed or neutered to help control the population. This is referred to as "TNR" -- Trap, Neuter, and Return.
  • If you do not reside in Lansdowne, contact your local animal control or animal rescue for guidance. Also check out Alley Cat Allies where you can find lots of help and advice on how to care for these cats.

If you want the cats removed from your property...

  • Contact your local animal control officer or police. Please keep in mind that, in most cases, these cats will not be relocated but euthanized.

Where can I find low-cost spay/neuter assistance?

If you live in the Delaware County area, check out the Spayed Club low-cost spay/neuter clinic in Sharon Hill, PA. If this is not convenient for you, consult our list of other area resources.

What do I do if I can no longer care for my pet?

AFL is not a shelter, and is therefore not equipped to accept surrendered animals. Rehome by Adopt-a-pet.com is a wonderful resource to try to find your pet a new home. This is very helpful to shelters, as they are often filled to capacity.

Before you consider surrendering your pet to a shelter, know that there are resources available which may be able to help you keep your pet. If you are experiencing financial hardship, there are pet food banks and low-cost spay/neuter/vaccination assistance which may help. Veterinarians are often willing to set up payment plans for larger veterinary expenses -- all you need to do is ask.

If you live in the Lansdowne area and need help caring for your pet, AFL Assist may be able to help.

How can I find a new pet?

Please consider adopting from Animal Friends of Lansdowne! (See our list of adoptables here.) We are an all-foster organization, so any pet you adopt from us has been well-cared for in a home environment. If we do not have what you are looking for, try consulting other animal rescues and shelters, or do a search on PetFinder.

What are the best ways to introduce my new pet to the family?

See our "New Pet" tips page. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us for assistance.