Lost/Found Pets


Please note: There is a fee to reclaim lost pets. These are set by the city and county and are not under the control of or kept by Stafford Animal Shelter. Pets found in the city are $15 for the first day, $10 for each day after. Dogs in the county are $16.50 per day while cats are $14 per day. You will need to show a photo id when reclaiming your pet.


Why it’s important to act right away:

A stray left at the shelter after 5 days is evaluated for adoption. Adoptions are final. New adopters of unclaimed strays will not be contacted to return a pet if the original owner shows up later. Once your pet has been missing overnight, call the shelter as soon as possible.

Reclaiming your Pet:

We hope your pet is safe and sound with us. If they are, there are reclaimation fees set by the City or County, depending on who brought them in from their at-large situation. The Shelter does not assess or keep the fees and receive only a percentage based on contracts. The City fee is $15 for the first day and $10 for each day after for boarding. If your pet was loose in the County, the Fee is $16.50 a day for dogs, $14.00 for cats.

NEW! Due to nationwide cases of misidentification, requirements have changed and the reclamation process will now include copying your photo identification. Thanks for helping us be more efficient in reuniting pets with their families!

To prevent losing pets:

Check for any escape routes if your animal is in a fenced enclosure. Make sure the dog has “busy toys” if you are gone for any length of time and that he gets sufficient time and exercise with you. We have names of wonderful trainers who can help you.

Every pet should wear an I.D. tag with your current information. These can be purchased at the Shelter or animal supply retailers. Consider having your pet micro chipped at your vet’s. Micro chips are not harmful to the animal and serve as a permanent I.D. All stray animals at the shelter are scanned for microchips.

If you have lost an animal, please follow these steps:

  1. Call the shelter at (406) 222-2111 to report that your pet is missing. You can also email us a description, photo, and your contact information at info@staffordanimalshelter.org. If it’s after hours, please call Livingston Police dispatch at 222-2050. Don’t wait a few days to see if the pet shows up first. After 5 days at the shelter, the animal becomes the property of  Stafford Animal Shelter and will be evaluated for adoption.
  2. Go to the shelter (Tuesday through Saturday from 12 Noon to 5 PM) and look at all the animals. It isn’t always possible to confirm a pet’s identity over the phone. Please tell staff that you’ve lost a pet; sick or injured strays might be at an off site veterinary clinic. If we don’t have your pet, fill out a lost pet report. Bring us a picture of your pet. We will notify you as soon as anyone calls or brings in any possible match. After your initial visit, visit the shelter two to three times a week to look at all the strays received. Be patient and don’t give up!
  3. Get a LOST PET ad in the paper. The Livingston Enterprise: (406) 222-2000
  4. Post pictures of your pet at convenience stores, on telephone poles, and in grocery stores near the location where your animal was lost. Check with us twice a week if your pet is still missing. We keep lost pets on our active list for 3 months or longer if requested.
    And remember, you can always call us at the shelter for further assistance: (406) 222-2111.
    Please notify us when your pet is found.
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