Lost Pet Prevention

Here are a number of steps you can take to prevent your pet from getting lost. 

License Your Pet

Dogs and cats with a current license tag attached to their collars are held at Contra Costa Animal Services shelters for 10 days. Unlicensed strays are held 3 days. Owners are notified by telephone and letter. Be sure to keep the Animal Services Department informed of any address or telephone number changes after you have applied for your pet’s license. Learn more about Licensing your pet in Contra Costa County.

Identification Tag

Although many people are reluctant to assume a loose dog may be lost, a message such as "Help me, I’m lost," with your current phone number and/or address on a tag can be helpful. It encourages someone to contact you rather than letting your pet wander, starve, become ill or injured, or get hit by a car.


Go to Findingrover.com to register your pets. FindingRover.com uses facial recognition technology, so if your pet goes missing, you may be alerted if somebody finds them or they end up at the shelter.


There is no better protection for your pet than a secure fenced yard or enclosed kennel area. Do not let your pet run loose. Loose animals can cause serious auto accidents, harass or kill livestock and other confined animals, damage property, and become neighborhood nuisances. It is also against the law (see County Code, Chapter 416-4.402, Animals at large).


Many local organizations offer low-cost training classes. A well-trained pet can be a joy for you, family members, and neighbors. If you are interested in obedience classes for your pet, or working with a trainer or behaviorist, check out our Adoption Support Resources [PDF] 

Spay & Neuter

Decrease your animal’s urge to wander to find a mate. Spaying and neutering eliminates or reduces the attraction of male animals to the female. Learn more about Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Resources