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Reclaim a Lost Pet

If you think that your pet might be visiting us, start by viewing the lost pets currently at our shelter. To help us reunite you with your pet, please bring any health records, rabies certificates, or personal identifiers, such as pictures from your cell phone.  We’re pretty sure that your pet will let us know that you have found them, but we do need to verify.  Please read about our reclaim fees below.

To release a stray animal back to its owner, animals must have a microchip, a rabies vaccination, and a dog or cat license (license required only if the owner is a Charles County resident.)  Animals without proof of vaccination, license, or microchip must receive them before being reclaimed.  Proof of vaccination is required within 60 days for a rabies deposit refund to be issued.

In some cases, paying the adoption fee is less expensive than paying the reclaim fees. To qualify for the reduced rate adoption fee, animals must be spayed or neutered, microchipped, and be current on all vaccinations before adoption, which are included in the cost of the adoption.  A Charles County Animal License is an additional fee not covered in HSCC adoption fees.

  • Reclaim Fee – $25.00 1st offense, $50.00 for 2nd offense within 12 months of 1st offense.
  • Boarding (per day) – $10.00
  • Rabies deposit (proof of vaccination required within 60 days for refund) $25.00
  • Microchip – $25.00
  • County license for an animal not spayed/neutered – $25.00
  • County license for animal spayed/neutered – $5.00
  • Emergency veterinary care and exams – Varies by procedure

Lost pets can be reclaimed any day the shelter is opened to the public by appointment only, please view our hours and note that we close for certain holidays.

The following Charles County Animal Regulations apply to animals being reclaimed by owners:

230-12.6 D: As a precondition of release the owner or custodian reclaiming any impounded animal will be required to pay all established fees and other expenses for the care, impoundment, board and veterinary treatment incurred by Charles County or its agents pursuant to the impoundment.

230-12.6 E: In addition to paying the established fees, an owner or custodian reclaiming an impounded animal shall show proof of a current rabies vaccination and county license, or shall pay the deposit fees required to comply with §§ 230-9 and 230-10 of these Regulations.

230-12.6 F: All impounded dogs and cats being reclaimed from the Humane Society of Charles County will be microchipped prior to release at an established fee to be paid by the owner or custodian reclaiming the animal.

230-10: It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, or other legal entity to own, keep, or harbor a dog or cat four months old or older without a current Charles County License.

The Humane Society of Charles County shall hold stray pets found and brought to our shelter for 3 days.  Maryland Law states shelters should hold lost pets for 3 days.


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