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What to Do if You Lose or Find a Dog in Baltimore City

There is no better time than now to be prepared for the unexpected when it comes to our dogs. That's why we're here to calm your nerves for all lost-pet scenarios! If you have found a lost dog or have lost your own dog in Baltimore City, here's exactly what you need to know to solve this stressful situation as efficiently as possible.

I found a lost dog... what do I do?!

If the animal is injured or in danger call 311 for Baltimore City Animal Control for assistance. If the animal is in a seemingly healthy condition:

Check for Tags

Check to see if the dog has an ID tag or a Baltimore City Pet License tag. Contact the owner via the phone number on tag. You can also search the license tag number here to see if it’s registered:

No tags? Scan for a microchip

If you are comfortable handling the dog, take them to the nearest veterinary hospital to be scanned for a microchip. Most vets in the city are willing to do this for walk-ins but call ahead if you can. If you are not comfortable handling the dog, it is likely that there is an experienced dog handler who can in a local Facebook Group.

No microchip? Utilize social media to spread the word

Post a photo of the dog to local lost dog Facebook groups & neighborhood Facebook groups:

Make a Found Pet Post on Petco Love Lost

This online platform uses facial recognition tools to match lost dogs to strays in animal shelters. The Maryland SPCA, BARCS, and other area shelters are Petco Love Lost partners and refer people looking for their pets there. Learn more at

Take the dog to the nearest animal shelter

  • BARCS - 2490 Giles Rd, Baltimore, MD 21225

  • Maryland SPCA - 3300 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21211

I lost my dog... help!

1. Use social media

Post a photo of your pet with a description of where your pet was last seen to neighborhood Facebook pages. Share to your story and ask friends & family to do the same. Tag @dogsofcharmcity on Facebook and Instagram, and we will share to our network of 22K+.

2. Visit Local Animal Shelters

Reach out to local shelters to see if a pet matching your description is there. There is a 72-hour hold on lost animals in the State of Maryland before the animal is taken into the care of the shelter and eligible for what the shelter deems best. Because the Maryland stray hold is only 72 hours, it is important to visit quickly and often.

3. File a lost pet report through BARCS and Petco Love Lost

Fill out this form and email it to ASAP. You can also upload your pet’s picture to Petco Love Lost’s facial Recognition Program here: This online platform uses facial recognition tools to match lost dogs to strays in animal shelters. The Maryland SPCA, BARCS and other area shelters are Petco Love Lost partners.

4. Make and Distribute Flyers

Place flyers in well-trafficked areas near your home and where your pet was last seen using simple, easy-to-read phrasing like "Lost dog. Please help." Include your phone number and a picture of your missing dog. Hand flyers out to local businesses.

Pet Loss Prevention

One in three dogs go missing at some point in their life according to the American Humane. Don't let that be your dog! Here are tips for protecting your dog:

  • Keep a properly fitted flat collar on your dog with a dog ID tag containing your phone number and the dog’s name.

  • Make sure other devices that you use for your dog are properly fitted and secure. Prong collars, harnesses, and even regular collars can fail at times (yes, we have seen it ALL). Our pet care team uses a simple S-Biner Caribeener to attach the prong collar dead ring to a flat collar. Regularly inspect leashes as well for any fraying or weakness that could cause it to break.

  • Ensure that your pet can not bolt from an open car or house door with the use of a seatbelt, double exit barrier system and/or a crate.

  • TRAIN YOUR DOG! Teach your dog strong recall skills so if the dog somehow gets away, he or she returns with a quick “come!”. Recall skills are lifesaving.

  • E-collars are a great tool to use for recall and training! We like Educator Technologies Collars and the ET-300 Mini is generally suitable for most dogs. We strongly recommend that you work with a professional dog trainer to properly introduce and condition your dog to any training tool.

  • Never, ever let your dog off leash in an unfenced area if they do not have an outstanding, proofed recall.


Microchipping is a quick procedure where a small chip is injected near the pet’s shoulder blades under the skin. We recommend microchipping for every dog!!

  • This chip is then registered to the owner’s information. Be sure to keep the information up to date if an address or phone number is changed

  • Special scanners can read the chip should your pet become lost

For Baltimore City pet owners:

  • BARCS offers a low-cost clinic on the first Saturday of every month where microchipping is available for $10 at The Transformation Center, located at 3701 4th Street, Baltimore, MD 21225

  • You will need to bring proof of being a Baltimore City resident, no appointments are accepted

For Baltimore County pet owners:

  • You can bring their dogs and cats to the shelter to receive the microchipping service for a low-cost fee of $10

  • Schedule an appointment, please call 410-887-PAWS (7297)

Other options:

  • Many animals from rescues & shelters are already microchipped - Check your pet’s records or paperwork from adoption

  • Your veterinarian may also offer microchip services

  • Many times this can be done during a spay or neuter procedure

DOCC-Approved GPS Dog Collars

  • $150-200 for the device plus about $100/year for a subscription

  • Uses an app on your phone to track your dog

  • Get alerts when your dog leaves a designated safe place

  • Health monitoring features that track and translate your pet’s activity like licking, scratching, sleeping

  • GPS and AT&T network tracking with Google maps

  • Battery lasts about 20 days!

  • $149

  • Uses GPS tracking and LTE-M Cellular network to track your dog 24/7

  • Other cool features like Escape detection, Lost Dog Mode, activity and sleep tracker for your pet

  • Built-in LED light to increase visibility at night

  • Water tolerant

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