Veterinarian, ad sites, animal pound… What should you do if you have found a lost animal?

While 60,000 animals are abandoned each summer in France, it is not easy to adopt the right reflexes when you find a lost animal. We explain the procedure to you here.

Every summer, nearly 60,000 animals are abandoned on the roads. In July 2022, the SPA shelters are struggling: saturated, they welcomed 9,000 animals, or 11% more than last year at the same time. So what to do when you find an abandoned animal on the street? What steps to take? Make the point.

Perform preliminary checks

Before taking any steps, you must first make sure that the animal you have found is really lost. Start by checking that he is not wearing a collar or tag with his owner’s contact information. If so, you can call him.

If not, look if the animal is tattooed. The animal’s tattoo number can be in the ear or on its thigh. If it is not visible consider passing alcohol in the animal’s ear or thigh.

If you obtain the animal’s identification number, you can then declare it found to the I-Cad company which manages the national identification file for domestic carnivores in France. To do this, you can download the “Filapat” application on your phone, or take these steps by e-mail or by calling 09 77 40 30 77 (open Monday or Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.).

Go to the vet

If the animal you found is not tattooed, he may be chipped under the skin, at the level of the neck. To be sure, you must contact the nearest veterinarian, who, equipped with a reader, will be able to find valuable information to identify him. This will not charge you any fees.

Note, however, that if the owner is not found, veterinary clinics cannot keep the animal.

Trying to find his masters on the Internet

To try to find his masters, you can advertise or consult the many sites lost animals: pet alert, the 30 million friends website or application, or the Facebook Filalapat support group.

Put the animal in the pound

If the animal does not have an identification number and you are unable to keep it at home, you can take it to the town hall, the gendarmerie or the police station so that it can be transferred to the pound. You can also drive the animal to the pound yourself. The address of the competent pound for the municipality where you found the animal is available at the town hall.

After eight days, if the animal has not been claimed by its owner, it is considered abandoned. After advice from a veterinarian, the pound gives the animal free of charge to a foundation or animal protection association to find new masters for it or euthanize it if it is sick.


Finally, if the animal is stray or if its owner does not wish to recover it, you can of course adopt it. If it is not identified, the veterinarian proceeds to the installation of an electronic chip and immediately issues you a provisional certificate of identification. The veterinarian informs the I-Cad of this identification within 8 days.

If the animal is identified but its owner does not claim it, you must have a veterinarian draw up a request for a duplicate of the identification card. You must send this request to I-Cad, accompanied by a check for €4.92 payable to Icad.

On video: Évreux SPA. The refuge is under tension


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