What to do if you have found or lost a pet…


If you have found an animal (stray) or need to surrender an animal

  • If you are a resident of Jefferson County, you will need to take the pet to the municipal shelter located in Jefferson City. That organization is county funded and contracted to take in all Jefferson County animals.
  • If you are in Jefferson County and need the animal picked up, call Animal Control 865-471-5980 and request them to get the animal. All phone calls to Animal Control are routed through the Sheriff’s Department.

Lost, found, stray, abandoned or owner-surrendered animals of Jefferson County are the responsibility of the municipal shelter in Jefferson City. That organization receives taxpayer funding to house stray animals and accept owner-surrendered pets. All stray animals should be taken to the shelter located at 310 Landfill Road Jefferson City, TN.

*The Humane Society of Jefferson County is not an open-admission shelter and does not accept strays as we are no longer funded or contracted to do so and do not have the means to house strays.*

You can also “foster” the animal(s) and look for it’s owner. Follow these steps

  • Take the animal to a vet office or shelter to be scanned for a microchip.
  • Contact the municipal shelter located in Jefferson City and give them descriptive information on the pet and how to contact you in case the owners contact them to notify
  • Also, notify the Humane Society (HSJC) at 865-475-8930 (located in Dandridge) and give them descriptive information on the pet and how to contact you. HSJC does not intake stray/found animals but pet owners may still contact HSJC to notify them of their missing pet.
  • Run an ad in the local newspaper.
  • Notify the area veterinarians.
  • Post flyers in the area giving information on the animal and how to contact you.
  • Website for lost/found dogs: lostmydoggie.com ; lost/found cats: lostmykitty.com

What to do if you have lost a pet

The following is from the Humane Society of the United States Website

When your beloved dog or cat strays from home, it can be a traumatic experience for both of you. Here are some tips that we hope will help you find your pet.

  • Contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies. File a lost pet report with every shelter within a 60-mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible. To find your local shelters check your phone book.  Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet. Notify the police if you believe your pet was stolen.
  • Search the neighborhood. Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times each day. Ask neighbors, letter carriers and delivery people if they have seen your pet. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found.
  • Advertise. Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, at pet supply stores and other locations. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet’s sex, age, weight, breed, color and any special markings. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.
  • Be wary of pet-recovery scams. When talking to a stranger who claims to have found your pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really have your pet. Be particularly wary of people who insist that you give or wire them money for the return of your pet.
  • Don’t give up your search. Animals that have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.

A pet—even an indoor pet—has a better chance of being returned if she always wears a collar and an ID tag with your name, address, and telephone number. Ask your local animal shelter or veterinarian if permanent methods of identification (such as microchips) are available in your area.

Helpful links: lostmydoggie.com, lostmykitty.com

Finding A New Home

Finding a Home for a Pet

If you must find a new home for your own pet, consider trying the following before turning your pet into a shelter:

FRIENDS/FAMILY: Try to re-home your pet with someone you know personally. Your pet will be more familiar and comfortable being with someone they already know. This will also ease your mind on where your pet is and what happened to him/her and you may even still get to see him/her.

NEWSPAPER: Place an ad in the classified section of your local newspaper: The Standard Banner (Jefferson County); Citizen Tribune (Morristown); Newport Plain Talk (Newport).  Give the animal’s primary breed, age, sex, and a few words to describe its temperament. Please do not offer “free to good home” and to have your pet spayed/neutered BEFORE re-homing to help reduce over-population. Ask thorough questions to anyone interested in your pet to ensure that home is the best fit for the animal.

FLYERS: Create a nice flyer with your pet’s picture. Post the flyer in pet supply stores and vet clinics. The most likely adopters are people who love and already have animals!

E-MAIL: Take a picture of your pet and e-mail it to friends and coworkers for forwarding to their friends and coworkers, etc.


  • adoptapet.com Adopt-a-pet is one of the nation’s largest adoption websites.

*A responsible adopter will be glad to answer questions to assure you they are a good match for your pet. If you feel they will be a responsible owner for the pet, great! If not, continue to look for a better match. A shelter should be a last resort.*