Lost a pet?

Being prepared for the unthinkable is the most important factor in bringing a lost pet home.  We strongly encourage ALL pets be microchipped.  This is the most reliable and effective means of reuniting lost pets with their owners.  Contact your veterinarian to get your pet microchipped.  Always ensure your contact information is up to date – if you move or change phone numbers, you should contact the company to update your information.

If you have lost a pet, there are many things you can do to help bring them back home.

Lincoln County Humane Society – (905) 682-0767

Welland and District Humane Society – (905) 735-1552

Niagara Falls Humane Society – (905) 356-4404

Hamilton Animal Services – (905) 574-3433

I found a stray dog, what do I do?

Found A Stray? 

If you’ve ever lost a pet you know how terrifying and nerve wracking it is.

When we see a stray cat or dog in the street scared and alone we want to help.

The first thing to consider is SAFETY! Approach the dog slowly, speaking calmly and reassuringly, and check your surroundings. Are there cars around? If the animal bolts it could end up getting hurt. Does it look friendly? Scared? A scared animal could lash out and you could end up hurt. If you have any concerns about the safety of yourself or the animal, stop what you’re doing and phone your local humane society or animal control. These people are trained to catch an animal without causing harm to themselves or others.

So you’ve caught the animal and they’re friendly! Safety doesn’t end here. Do you have kids? Pets? If you’re planning on bringing the animal to your home keep them separated from your children and your pets. You don’t know the history and you don’t know how they might react.

First things first- does the animal have a microchip? Your local vet office or animal shelter can scan the animal for a chip. This is the quickest way to find the owner!

Next step is contacting your local shelter. If someone is missing a pet the first place they’re going to contact is the animal shelter. They will have a log of all the missing animals and can connect you with the rightful owner. If no one has reported the dog missing you can leave the dog with the shelter so when their owner does come looking they will be safe and secure and waiting!

You’re not comfortable leaving the animal at the shelter and would prefer to take them home? Be sure to leave your information with the shelter in case the owner does contact them.

If you do decide to bring the animal home remember SAFETY! Use caution at all times. If you have children or other pets do very slow introductions; keep dogs on leash. Even once they’re settled and everyone is getting along, separate during feeding time and when alone in the house. Put away toys. The quickest way to a  fight is possessiveness over toys and treats.

Take a photo and post it around the neighbourhood where the animal was found. Post a photo on social media and ask your friends to share it. Someone might recognize the animal.

You’ve gotten a phone call from someone saying the animal is theirs! That is wonderful but you can never be too safe. Unfortunately there are people who might see a lost animal ad and see an opportunity to acquire a new pet for free. Ask them some simple questions about the animal. For example if the animal has spots on the tail, ask what the tail looks like. Or ask for photos of the animal. Most pet owners would have many photos of the animal happy at home that they could send your way.

Congratulations! You’ve helped a lost animal find their home! You’ve done a wonderful thing and that family will never forget you.

I found a stray cat, what do I do?

Friendly Cats

If the cat is friendly, and you are able, take the cat to a vet and get him/her scanned for a microchip. Vets will do this for free. If the cat has a microchip, you can then contact the owner and let them know you’ve found their cat. If the cat does not have a microchip, here are some steps and resources for you:

Ask your neighbours in the immediate area if they know who the cat belongs to. Has the cat been around the neighbourhood for a while, or did he just show up? Is anyone feeding the cat, or does the cat look emaciated? Does the cat have a collar?

If the cat is friendly, but not microchipped, you can all your local humane society and ask whether anyone has reported a cat of that description as missing. You can also post on the “Lost Pets of Niagara Region” Facebook page, which is very active, and can be helpful in identifying pets if you post the location of where the cat was found, etc. (

You can contact local rescue groups and shelters to see if they have any room to put a new cat into their program If the groups are full, as is often the case, especially during “kitten season” in the spring/summer, one option is to try and find a home for the cat yourself. You can do this by posting on Facebook (both your personal page and the pages of local rescue groups), posting on kijiji, etc.

Feral Cats

Feral cats are essentially wild cats that do not make for suitable house pets. These cats are born outside, and are not familiar with humans. These cats live outdoors permanently. The best way to care for these cats (if you are willing), is to provide them with food and shelter. If you are able to trap the cat (or find a group who can do this for you), the cat can get spayed/neutered, they released back outside.

However, where there is one, there is often more, or what is called “a colony”.  The best approach to this is to work with your neighbours and see if you can come up with a plan to proactively care for these cats by putting out food and water on a daily basis, and providing shelter in the cold winter months. Shelters are easy to construct, visit here, to see how to build a cheap (yet effective) winter shelter.

Contact local rescue groups who operate TNR (trap, neuter, release) programs, and see if they can help with the spaying/neutering portion of this in your neighbourhood.

Check out Alley Cat Allies ( for some great information and resources on how to not only care for community cats, but to educate people.

My cat is lost, what do I do?

It has been proven that a very effective way of finding lost cats, is through the use of humane traps. You can buy these from local stores such as Canadian Tire, but local animal rescue groups may also have one you can use on loan. Put the trap in your yard. Be prepared to potentially trap other animals that you will have to release. Set the trap at night, and put some enticing food and water in there. If you cat is an indoor cat that has escaped outside, he/she is very likely hiding somewhere close to your house, because that is their territory. They will hide under porches, in bushes, in sheds, anywhere they can fit…and they won’t make noise. Setting up a humane trap is a step you’ll want to take immediately.

Go down to your local shelter and see if your cat has been turned in as a stray. Do this regularly and often. Leave a description of your cat at the shelter. If you can’t go in every day, make sure you call.

Post on a local lost pets group ( Make sure you post with all relevant details (what area of town did the cat go missing, has there been any sightings, how long has the cat been missing, has the cat every been outside before) and with a good picture of your cat.

Put up posters around your neighbourhood, and talk to your neighbours to let them know to keep an eye out for your pet.

If you cat is microchipped, call the microchip company and let them know your cat is lost, and make sure all your contact info contained in the chip is up to date, that way if someone finds your cat and gets him/her scanned, you’ll be able to be contacted promptly.

Check out all possible hiding spots in your neighbourhood. If your cat is not used to being outside, he/she could be hiding somewhere. Be patient, and make sure to check often.

Please know that behavior will be different for cats that are used to be indoor only, indoor/outdoor cats, or strictly outdoor cats.

Here is a great resource if you’ve lost a cat:

This link is specific to indoor cats who have escaped outside:

Feral cat winter shelter building

Providing shelter in the winter is a fantastic way to keep stray and feral cats safe from the elements. A good size shelter would be around 2 feet by 3 feet and at least 18 inches high.  Larger isn’t necessarily better, because the heat will disperse quickly, and the cats will need a warm shelter during the winter.

The information and tips below come from Alley Cat Allies (


Some things to keep in mind

And don’t be discouraged if the cats don’t immediately take to the shelters that you’ve made for them! The cats simply may not have noticed the shelters, or are still investigating these new objects you’ve placed in their territory. If the cats aren’t using the shelter after a few weeks, try moving it closer to an area where the cats already prefer to hang out, but still gives the cats privacy from the public.

Below is a link to different styles/types of winter shelters to build, including instructions:

Cat Behavioral Issues

Lots of times, cat behavioral problems can be dealt with, given a little time and patience.  We have a cat behaviorist on our board of directors, so if you are contemplating surrendering your cat due to a behavioral problem, please try out some of the solutions here, or else contact us at to talk to our behaviorist. Our goal is to keep cats in their homes.

Rather than write a whole lengthy essay on each behavioral problem, we’ll provide links to specific problems, with solutions given by experts in the fields of cat behavior.


Towards people:

Towards other cats:








Dog Behavioral Issues

Lots of times, dog behavioral problems can be dealt with, given a little time and patience. If you are having issues with your dog’s behavior please check out the links below or contact us at We can recommend a dog trainer who can help you correct and adjust these behaviors. Our goal is to keep dogs in their homes.

Rather than write a whole lengthy essay on each behavioral problem, we’ll provide links to specific problems, with solutions given by experts in the fields of dog behavior.










Please try these resources for any other behavioral or medical concerns:

Looking for something fun? Why not try these links! – Don’t forget to list Pets Alive Animal Rescue Niagara as your rescue of choice!