FAQs

Lost Pets

Lost a Dog in Marion County?

If you lost your dog IN MARION COUNTY, go to Marion County Dog Shelter, located at 3550 Aumsville Hwy in Salem.

Check their website for hours and information or call them at (503) 566-6966. Willamette Humane Society does not hold lost dogs for Marion County.

You can also check the Lost & Found Pets of Salem Facebook page to see if there is a posting for your pet.

Lost a Dog in Polk County?

If you lost a dog IN POLK COUNTY, they may be found at Willamette Humane Society. A member of the public may have brought your dog to WHS for holding.

You can:

View Stray Dogs at the Shelter
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Even if you don’t see your dog in our Stray Listings, please come to WHS to look for your dog in person or to file a lost pet report.

You can also check the Lost & Found Pets of Salem Facebook page to see if there is a posting for your pet.

When stray dogs are brought to our facility, they are sheltered for three to five days while we try to locate their owner. If the animal is not claimed, he/she will be evaluated for adoption.

If you locate your dog at WHS, you will be assessed Dog Control fees as set by your county of residence.

Lost a Cat?

You can:

View Stray Cats at the Shelter

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If you lost a cat in Marion or Polk County, Willamette Humane Society is your resource. Sadly, only 2-3 percent of stray cats are reclaimed by their owners. This prompted us to take a position that puts lost and unclaimed cats on a fast track to a new home. We give pet owners 24 hours to claim a lost cat before making the cat available to potential adopters.

Our stray cats are housed in the adoption room and available for view and visiting from the first day of their arrival. We encourage you to come to the shelter immediately on our open days to check for your lost cat. (We open at 12 pm, Thursday through Monday. The shelter is closed Tuesday & Wednesday).

If you locate your cat at WHS, you will be assessed boarding fees upon his/her return.

How to find a lost pet?

You can:

View Stray Pets at the Shelter

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What You Can Do to Find Your Lost Pet:

Immediately file a “Lost Animal” report online or at the shelter. (Sorry, we cannot take reports over the phone.) It is extremely important to come to the shelter, or file a report ASAP, as stray animals are sheltered for one to five days while we try to locate their owner. If the animal is not claimed, he/she will be evaluated for adoption, transferred, or even possibly humanely euthanized.

  • Bring in a recent photo of the missing animal, if possible.
  • Visit the shelter every 2-3 days to view the animals in stray holding.

Don’t see your pet? Here are some other ideas to help locate your lost pet:

  • Go door to door in your neighborhood.
  • Check the Lost & Found Pets of Salem Facebook Page to report your pet lost, or look for postings about your pet
  • Buy fragrant, high value food to lure your pet to you if in the vicinity.
  • Call local veterinarians.
  • Post flyers in your neighborhood, at pet supply stores, in local veterinary clinics, and on any local bulletin boards at stores, schools, etc.
  • Check the classified ads in the Statesman Journal and/or other local paper.
  • Place a “Lost” classified ad in the Statesman Journal and/or other local paper.
  • Post free listings on pets911.com, www.petfinder.org and www.missingpet.net.
  • You can also visit the Missing Pet Partnership website for more tips on how to locate a lost pet.

To learn more, visit:

Marion County Dog Control
Polk County Dog Control

Important phone numbers

Marion County Dog Control 503-588-5366
Polk County Sheriff’s Office 503-623-9251
Monmouth Dog Control 503-838-0722
Stayton Police Department 503-769-3421
Woodburn Dog Control 503-982-5243

A note about stray holding time

Typically, dogs remain in stray holding for three (without identification) to five days (with id), giving their owner time to claim them. Cats usually remain in stray holding for 24 hours. From there, the animal is evaluated for adoption by our exam staff. If the animal meets temperament and behavior standards, the animal will be moved to our Adoption kennels.

If an animal has been in stray holding for more than five days, most likely the animal is waiting to be picked-up by a rescue organization or transferred to another animal shelter. Until an animal is moved to the adoption kennels, adoption staff will not be able to provide additional information to the public.

If you have questions about Lost & Found, call the customer service department at (503) 585-5900, or email customer.service@whs4pets.org.

Does Willamette Humane Society care for stray/lost animals?

Yes, Willamette Humane Society cares for stray dogs found in Polk County, as well as  all the stray and lost cats found in Marion and Polk Counties.  Stray dogs found in Marion County must go to the Marion County Dog Shelter, located at 3550 Aumsville Hwy SE in Salem.  A report may also be submitted through the organization’s website.  The Marion County Dog Shelter’s phone number is (503) 588-5233.

Community members  may bring lost  animals to WHS by appointment or during walk-in hours. Animals are scanned for a microchip and the Good Samaritan is asked to fill out a brief personality profile to provide us with any details observed while caring for the animal.  Animals not claimed by their owners are evaluated for the adoption pool.  In addition, all injured and ill animals are cared for immediately.   

Sometimes, community members who find a lost or stray pet choose to keep that animal in their homes while waiting for an owner match. In this scenario, the individual should still fill out a found pet report and bring the animal to WHS to be scanned for a microchip.  We keep this report for 30 days or until a match is made.

Since we depend on donations to serve our community, we ask for a suggested donation of $10 to bring in a stray animal.

What is the “hold” time for a stray or lost animal?

Before any animal can be adopted by a new owner, there is a stray hold time to give owners an opportunity to claim their pet.  Oregon law prescribes a three day hold time for dogs without identification and a five day hold time for dogs with identification.  

There are no laws for how long to hold a stray cat, but WHS places a one business day stray hold on a cat without identification. This does not include the day of arrival or any days we are closed to the public. Our return-to-owner rate for felines is no different than when we had a longer stray hold. In fact, stray cats now have greater adoption visibility and faster placement.

How do I report a lost or found pet?

Reports for lost and found pets can be submitted through our website. By facilitating online reporting of lost pets, many lost animals are finding their way back home without ever even coming into the shelter.

What are your open hours? How can we reach you?


  • Mon: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Tue: CLOSED
  • Wed: CLOSED
  • Thu – Fri: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
  • Sat – Sun: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm
4246 Turner Rd SE
Salem, OR 97317
503-585-5900Contact the Shelter

Receptionists are available to answer phones and return calls during business hours, and on Wednesday evening.


  • Mon – Sat: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
  • Sun: CLOSED
548 High St NE (between Union & Marion)
Salem, OR 97301
503-362-6892Contact the Thrift Store