top of page

What to Do if You Find a Stray Dog or Cat in Santa Clara County, California

Stray pets face increased risks when shelters and resources are limited. In Santa Clara County, California, similar to other areas, the influx of stray animals can strain shelter capacities. This article provides recommendations for individuals or groups to improve the quality of life for a stray pet when government and non-profit resources are at capacity.



1. Check for Microchip or ID Tags:


The first step when finding a wandering pet is to check for a microchip or identification tags. These microchips can help locate owners if the pet has been lost. Many vet clinics, rescue groups, and shelter facilities in Santa Clara County offer free microchip scanning services.



2. No Microchip Found - Search Neighborhood Groups:


If no microchip is found, search neighborhood social media groups and local shelters for lost pets. Confirm if the pet is an owned animal first, as some owners may not have their pets microchipped.


3. Utilize Network Sites and Groups:


Connect to network sites like Next Door, PawBoost, Petco Love Lost, and neighborhood groups in Santa Clara County. These platforms can aid in reuniting lost pets with their owners.



4. Check Availability at Rescues:


Step 1: Check if there is room at area rescues, as many of them utilize volunteer foster services even if they have no physical space at the moment.



5. Contact Rescue and Foster Groups:


Step 2: Reach out to rescue, foster, and volunteer groups that specialize in finding homes for pets through networking and transporting to other states. There are various resources provided by local organizations in Santa Clara County to help in this process.



6. Responsibilities of Rehoming:


If you find a stray and no resources are available, be prepared to take on a significant responsibility. This may include spaying, neutering, and vaccinating the pet. Consider low-cost vet services offered by organizations like SNAP and SNIP Bus.



7. Handling Overheated Stray Animals:


During summer months, strays are vulnerable to overheating. If you encounter an overheated animal, avoid using cold water, as it can cause harmful effects. Instead, give the animal lukewarm water to drink and cool their soles, chest, and lower abdomen area with a damp towel. Place the animal in a shaded area on a damp towel to help regulate body temperature.


8. Contact County Shelters First:


When you encounter a stray pet and resources are limited, it’s essential to contact county shelters first. While the shelters may be at capacity, they can provide guidance, valuable information, and potential resources to help with the situation. Even if they cannot take the pet immediately, they may offer advice on other available options or put the pet on a waiting list. Promptly contacting county shelters allows them to be aware of the situation and increases the chances of reuniting the pet with its owner or finding a suitable home.


When you encounter a stray dog or cat in Santa Clara County and shelters are full, these recommendations can assist you in providing the best care and support for the animal. By utilizing available resources and networking, you can make a difference in improving the lives of stray pets in your community. Remember, every small effort counts in ensuring the well-being of these vulnerable animals.

27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page