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San Diego Humane Society

Reclaiming Your Pet

Fees for reclaiming a lost dog from San Diego Humane Society are waived through Jan. 7, 2024. Applicable licensing fees still apply

How to Reclaim Your Pet

If you find your pet here on our database of found animals, follow the process below to reclaim your animal.

Where to Go

It’s best if you come in person to the shelter location where your pet is being held to identify. We recommend arriving by 4 p.m. to allow plenty of time for processing. If you do not have the below documentation, still visit the shelter so that our staff can assist you through the process of reclaiming your pet.

What to Bring

  1. Proof of ownership: ​​​​ Paperwork identifying the animal as yours may include: veterinarian or adoption paperwork, microchip paperwork, license history, detailed sales receipt or photos as a last resort.
  2. Photo ID: Bring your government issued photo ID.
  3. Proof of rabies vaccine and license: All dogs are required to leave the shelter with a valid rabies vaccine and license. Please bring any records with you when you come in. 

Common Questions

Why do we vaccinate all dogs and cats when they enter the shelter?

Your dog or cat was vaccinated upon intake into the shelter. Because the risk of infectious disease is higher in a shelter environment, and our goal is to protect the dogs and cats coming into our care, our policy is to vaccinate them as soon as possible. Dogs are given DHPP and rabies vaccines, and cats receive FVRCP and rabies vaccines. This policy is based on the recommendations and guidelines from many national veterinary organizations, including the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association. These organizations produce vaccination guidelines used widely by the veterinary industry, and they include recommendations for owned animals in homes as well as those in animal shelters.

Please note that if your pet was already vaccinated prior to entering the shelter, receiving this additional round of vaccines is not considered harmful. Our primary goal is to protect your pet and the other animals in our care.

Reclaim Fees

Impound Fees

Fee Title Fee
Dog, Cat, small animals $40
Sheep, Goats. Medium animals $40
Equine, Bovine, large animals $65
Fowl $40
Dog at large 2nd time $55
Dog at large 3rd time $100
Unaltered Fee - Dog & Cat* $150

*The unaltered fee is inclusive of State unaltered fees
***El Cajon has a "Facility Maintenance Fee" that will apply to all impounds, relinquishments and adoptions at the El Cajon Campus. 

Dog License Fees

All dogs residing within the jurisdiction of San Diego Humane Society must have a current license. See dog license fees.


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