Here’s what to do if you found a stray animal around New Year’s Day in the Valley

Jan 1, 2024, 4:00 PM

side by sides of stray pets found across the Valley in the last week....

Stray pets, such as the ones pictured, can be logged on the county's website to help reunite them with their owners. (Stray Map Tool photos)

(Stray Map Tool photos)

PHOENIX — If a stray pet was found across the Valley around New Year’s Day, then here’s what the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter is requesting.

Fireworks can be frightening for pets across the Valley, therefore, some could wander off from their homes and owners.

There are a few things those who find a furry friend can do before ultimately bringing them into a shelter.

Here’s the best way to find a stray animal’s home

It’s always important to consider your approach when catching and containing an animal, MCACC said. Make sure it’s safe to do so before moving forward.

Once the pet is in arm’s reach, it can be taken to any veterinarian clinic, emergency vet or MCACC shelter, all of which scan found pets for chips for free.

If a chip is found in the stray and the temporary guardian is taking it home while the facility searches for the pet’s owner, then they should ask for a chip number. If it cannot be provided, the scanning facility should email it to

Another step that can be taken is logging where the animal was spotted/picked up on the Stray Map Tool, where the entry will stay online for a maximum of 5 days. The Lost and Found division can also be contacted at 602-372-4598.

Flyers with photos and/or descriptions of the animal, along with contact information, should also be posted around the area the animal was found.

Other useful resources include apps and websites, such as NextDoor, Neighbors by Ring, Petco Love Lost, Pet FBI, 24Petconnect, Straydar for Arizona, Craiglist in Phoenix and No Lost Pets Maricopa County.

If the animal has a Maricopa County tag on it, then call 602-506-PETS (7387), where there will be prompts to find the owner’s contact information.

If the animal doesn’t have a Maricopa County tag, then the local agency should be contacted for a report.

How do I schedule an appointment at the MCACC West shelter for strays?

As of August 2022, MCACC shifted toward using a managed intake process for stray dogs. Cats can’t be impounded at the shelter but can still possibly be connected to their families through a Found Pet Form.

Intake appointments at the MCACC West Shelter located at 27th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road can be made online.

If the animal is injured, contact the Arizona Humane Society at 602-997-7585 or online at their Report an Injured Stray page.

For appointments to surrender home dogs, apply online.

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Here’s what to do if you found a stray animal around New Year’s Day in the Valley