Lost and Found

What To Do If Your Pet Is Lost

If your pet is lost there are several steps to take immediately to ensure that if it is found it will be returned to your home more quickly.

Lost and Found

What To Do If Your Pet Is Lost

If your pet is lost there are several steps to take immediately to ensure that if it is found it will be returned to your home more quickly.

First, if your pet is microchipped, call your veterinarian and/or the microchip company right away to make sure the chip information is up to date and you will be contacted should your animal be located. If the Humane Society of the Black Hills microchipped your pet at the time of its adoption, then you should call the humane society at (605) 394-4170 to verify the chip information is up to date.

Second, fill out a Lost/Found Report – provide your pet’s photo in person – with the shelter in your community. In Rapid City, the Humane Society of the Black Hills is located at 1820 E. St. Patrick Street. If not in Pennington County, contact the animal welfare agency that handles strays for the area where you live and/or where your pet was lost.

Lost Form

Community Contacts Outside of Rapid City

Sturgis/Meade County Animal Shelter (605) 347-8310

Lead/Twin City Animal Shelter (605) 584-2480

Spearfish Animal Shelter (605) 642-1576

Pennington County Animal Services and Enforcement at the Humane Society of the Black Hills (605) 394-4132

After hours, or on Wednesdays, please contact your local police department.

We are closed every Wednesday. We will take in no stray animals at the door. If you have a stray to surrender, contact the local police department and they will dispatch Animals Services & Enforcement to assist you.

When a stray is placed at the HSBH, the owner has three business days to reclaim the lost pet. If the three days have passed, the pet may be placed for adoption. It is very important for you to visit the HSBH shelter frequently to see if your pet has been found.

In addition to contacting the appropriate agency, we recommend taking the following steps if your pet is lost:

Begin your search immediately

  • Cover at least a 20-block area around your home – A dog or cat can wander miles in just a day
  • Call your pet’s name loudly and often – In between calls, listen carefully for a faint bark or meow that may indicate your pet is trapped somewhere
  • Contact all the animal shelters in your county and surrounding counties – A “finder” may take your pet to the local shelter, or he/she may go to one that is farther away
  • Because your description may vary from that of the agency’s staff, and because most shelters keep an animal for at least three days after intake, be prepared to visit each agency at least once every day to view the animals there, including those in holding or isolation (sick or injured pets)
  • Advertise in your local newspapers – Offer a reward to stimulate interest and run your ad for at least two weeks
  • Read the “Lost and Found” columns in newspapers and online forums daily to see if someone has found your pet
  • Talk to people, especially kids or adults with an established neighborhood route (i.e. mail carriers, meter readers, UPS drivers, etc.) and show them a photograph of your pet
  • Make a “Wanted” poster – Use large block print and attach a recent photo or rough sketch of your pet, and include the following information: breed, age, color, distinguishing marks, collar color, when and where your pet was lost, your phone number, and reward if possible
  • Leave a poster at each agency you have contacted
  • Post lost animal details on the Facebook page “Bring Rusty Home”
  • Hang your sign everywhere in the 20-block radius around your home (look for community bulletin boards, grocery stores, schools meeting halls, veterinary offices, etc.)
  • Visit all veterinary hospitals and schools in your area, and leave a poster there as well
  • Be imaginative in your search – In addition to yards, streets, parks, and woods, try searching in shopping centers, schools grounds, construction sites, abandoned buildings, and crawl spaces
  • Leave an item of your personal clothing in your front and back yards Use your car in your search – Many dogs and some cats recognize the sound of the family car

Visit your pet’s favorite places

  • Try taking your dog’s best canine buddy along on your search – He/she might very well see, hear, or smell what you cannot

What To Do If You Have Found An Animal

We are closed on Wendesdays. Please contact your local police department.

If you have found a dog, cat, or other companion animal, you should do the following:


Consider the safety of the animal. A strange, frightened, and possibly sick or injured animal can behave unpredictably.


Use caution when approaching the animal. Should you succeed in getting close enough to capture it, you stand a good chance of being scratched or bitten. When moving toward the animal, speak calmly to reassure him. Make sure he can see you at all times as you approach, and entice him to come to you.


Use caution driving with an unrestrained animal in your car. It is good to always carry a leash in your car just in case. If you cannot safely transport the animal or the animal is injured, call Animal Services and Enforcement (605-394-4132) or local law enforcement for assistance.


If you are able to transport the animal, take it to the nearest animal shelter. The animal can be scanned for a microchip, and then will be placed on the shelter’s website as a stray pet, giving the owner a chance to find their pet. If you bring the animal to the HSBH shelter, we will ask you to fill out a Lost-Found Report so we can work on reuniting the pet with the proper owner.

If you decide to keep the pet in your home until an owner is found, you still need to have the animal scanned for a microchip and fill out a found report at the animal shelter. Please remember that a frantic owner could be looking everywhere for their beloved pet so make every effort to reunite the animal with its family! Put flyers out in the neighborhood where you found the animal, at veterinarian offices, and put an ad on online forums such as Facebook’s Bring Rusty Home. If the animal is not claimed after 30 days, you may choose to keep or re-home it

Please note, there is a $10 fee for dropping off trapped stray/feral cats.


Impounded Animal Reclaim Fees

Boarding fee of $30 per day applied beginning on fourth day. Third intake within 6 months = citation and/or court appearance. Reclaims fees below do not include microchip, vaccination, city license, after-hours ACO charges, or other medical fees (if applicable).  Proof of pet ownership must be presented at the time of reclaim.

Dog: $90 public impound/$125 ACO pickup
Cat: $35

If any is spayed/neutered after reclaim period:
Cat/Dog: Owner pays for veterinarian services

Reclaim fees for pets on Bite Quarantine vary.  Please call Animal Services & Enforcement at (605) 394-4132 for more info.