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Anyone who has lost a pet should contact the local pound or law enforcement as soon as possible to report the pet missing and to see if the pet has shown up at the pound yet.

Contact numbers if you’ve lost your pet:

  • In Fargo/Cass County: Fargo pound at 701-232-7312
  • In Moorhead/Clay County: Moorhead pound at 218-236-9059
  • In West Fargo: West Fargo police at 701-515-5500

Why would my pet be at the pound?

If a stray animal is found, and the finder contacts local law enforcement, the stray animal will be taken to the local pounds to give the owner a chance to claim the lost pet. However, the owner only has 3-5 days to do so, before the pet will either be transferred to an adoption agency or euthanized.  This is why it is vital that when you realize your pet is missing, you contact the pounds or law enforcement as soon as possible.

My pet isn’t at the pound, now what?

  • Leave a detailed description and/or a picture of your pet with the pound and check back regularly. The pounds do their best to match up lost pets with their owners, but if the pet has been missing for quite some time, was found a great distance from where he/she was originally lost or does not have any distinguishable markings, they may not be easily recognized as your missing pet.  
  • Contact our organization at 701-239-0077 and leave a description of your pet with us in case the finder calls us before the pound.
  • If you have access to Facebook, post a picture and your pet’s information on Heart of the Valley’s Facebook page and on the Fargo/Moorhead Lost & Found Pets and Personal Items page
  • Put up posters in your neighborhood and ask neighbors to keep an eye out for your pet.
  • Contact your veterinarian to let them know that your pet is missing.
  • Get out the word as much as you can, to as many people as you can, in any way possible: newspapers, Facebook, Craigslist, etc.

What can I do to prevent my pet from becoming lost in the first place?

All pets should have some form of identification on their collars at all times, or be microchipped, to improve the likelihood of being reunited with their owners if they become lost.

Also, make sure your dogs are always on a leash any time they are not confined on your own property. And although some people like to allow their indoor cats to roam outdoors, if your cat leaves your property (within city limits), you are breaking the leash law and your cat may be picked up by animal control. We highly recommend that if you want to give your cat some outdoor time, be sure to confine your cat to your property with a harness or closely supervise your cat any time it is outdoors.


If you’ve found a stray animal, you should contact the animal control officers or local law enforcement in your area to bring the pet to the pound. Bringing the animal to the pound improves the chances of the animal being reunited with its owner.

  • In Fargo: Fargo police at 701-235-4493 or drop them off at the Fargo pound (3210 Main Ave.)
  • In Moorhead: Moorhead police at 218-299-5120
  • In West Fargo: West Fargo police at 701-433-5500
  • Cass County: Sheriff at 701-241-5800 or drop them off at the Fargo pound (3210 Main Ave.)
  • Clay County: Sheriff at 218-299-5151

**Please note, the West Fargo and Moorhead pounds do not accept drop offs of strays. Contact the local law enforcement for pickup of stray animals.

Why can’t I bring the stray pet to the Homeward Animal Shelter?

The Homeward Animal Shelter is not the pound and we can not accept strays under any circumstances, even if you believe that the pet has been abandoned. Once a stray has spent 3-5 days in the pound and is deemed to be an adoptable pet, the rescue agencies are given the chance to rescue the animal and place it up for adoption.

What if I don’t want the pet to go to the pound?

Legally, the owner has 3-5 days to reclaim their pet from the pounds.  We strongly encourage all finders to turn the animal into the pound for the best chance of reuniting it with it’s owners.  If the pet is unclaimed, the finder has the option to put a “finder’s” hold** on the pet, and to adopt the pet after the hold period is over if no owner comes forward. (**Please note: the Fargo pound no longer does finder's holds. If you are interested in adopting a pet that you found that is in the Fargo pound, please contact our shelter and we will assist you in getting the pet back to you).

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