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Lost & Found Pets

Lost a pet? Found a pet? We can help.

Bettie and her girl

Animal Receiving

You may bring animals to the following locations:

  • Eastside Shelter 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day
  • Westside Shelter 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day

Citizens must be residents of Albuquerque or Bernalillo County to bring animals to our facilities.

Finding a Lost Pet

We are proud to announce a high tech alternative to signs on telephone poles to help find missing pets!

If you need help finding Spike or Socks, or long for a Calico or Boxer, you can now access Pet Harbor's Pet Search to report lost or found pets, or to request notification if a breed in which you are interested becomes available at one of the Animal Welfare Department locations.

Once you fill out the information request form, you will be emailed automatically when an animal matching your selection shows up at one of our shelters. The request will last for 30 days.

Found Animals

Found a cat or dog? One of the quickest ways to reunite the pet with its owner is to scan for a microchip.

The following locations will scan for free:

  • Cottonwood Animal Clinic
    1101 Rio Rancho Blvd. Rio Rancho, NM 87124 (505) 891-2800
  • Northwest Animal Hospital
    1000 Alameda NW Albuquerque, NM 87114
    (505) 898-1491
  • Petroglyphs Animal Hospital
    6633 Caminito Coors NW Albuquerque, NM 87120 (505) 898-8874
  • Taylor Ranch Vet Hospital
    9401 Golf Course Road Suite D Albuquerque, NM 87114
    (505) 792-9666

Stray Cats

Cat overpopulation is a problem that cannot be solved through adoptions at city animal shelters. There just aren't enough people coming to the shelters looking for cats to take home. Sadly, many cats housed at city animal shelters are euthanized.

If you find a tame cat and want to help it, the best way is to foster the cat until you find a home for it yourself. You should notify the Animal Welfare Department and register as a finder of the animal.

If you surrender the cat to a city animal shelter, it might not survive. Frequently, what seems to be a stray cat is an owned cat that has been allowed by its owner to roam. An owned cat typically will return to its home if you leave it alone, and it can be very difficult to find the owner if you try to intervene by removing it from its roaming area.

You can attempt to reunite the cat with its owner by having the animal scanned for a microchip. City animal shelters and some local veterinarians will do this for free and if a cat is microchipped, the owner's last known address will be on record with the company that created the microchip.

There is, however, a very low rate of success in finding the owners of cats that arrive at city animal shelters, partly because many cats aren't microchipped. The Animal Welfare Department works hard to help control the pet population through spay and neuter programs.

If there are feral cats in your neighborhood, or if someone (including you) is feeding stray cats, there are charitable groups in Albuquerque that can help get the cats sterilized so they don't reproduce. The cats then continue living outdoors.

These groups are well versed in where to get traps, how to use them, where to take the cats for sterilization and what to do afterwards. For more information, contact:

  • New Mexico Animal Friends, (505) 881-7297
  • Best Friends Animal Society, 440-3441
  • Animal Humane, (505) 255-5523, ext. 105

The Animal Welfare Department does not have cat traps for rent, and it will not come to your neighborhood to pick up a cat unless it has bitten a person or is injured.

Feeding stray cats is very common, but attempting to eradicate the cats through poisoning or other means is a crime that will be prosecuted.


Wild animals are an interesting and exciting part of our city and should be left alone when encountered.  If you come across an injured wild animal and feel comfortable handling the animal you can take it to Wildlife Rescue, Inc. of New Mexico (Wild Life Rescue Inc. of NM ) located at the Rio Grande Nature Center State Park located at the western end of 2901 Candelaria Rd NW. The phone number giving all information about hours and directions is (505) 344-2500. The Phone Team, which responds to messages left, is available 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Alternatively, you may take the injured animal to our eastside or westside animal shelter intake desks on days and times referenced above under Animal Receiving.  If you are unable or unwilling to handle the animal you may call 311 and an Animal Services Officer will be dispatched to pick up the animal.