Sometimes our pets can wander or stray away from home. This can be very stressful and emotional for the animal and for their human family during the time of separation, but by understanding what to do when an animal is found, and reacting quickly and appropriately, you can help make this a smooth reunification process!





Although we wish we could help every one of the animals ourselves, The Humane Society of Lincoln County at times cannot admit stray animals directly into our care for a few reasons:

  1. All of our kennel space and resources are fully dedicated to saving the largest number of animals possible! The hold time required for strays would mean that other animals would not receive shelter. We are almost always at capacity.
  2. By reporting strays to the shelter, we streamline the process so that families can reunite more quickly with their pets because there is a central place to search. More pets get reunited this way.
  3. We are a nonprofit with limited government funding. By working with our Vets and different social media sites (such as in the community we better overcome our limitations and provide great care for the animals in our neighborhoods.

Please note:
 The Humane Society of Lincoln County maintains a 72 hour minimum stray hold for animals without identification and a 5 day stray hold for animals with identification or a microchip. You may follow up with HSLC during the hold process and make sure that if no family is located, you can help determine where the animal goes.


First and foremost, all stray animals found in Lincoln County must be reported to the Humane Society of Lincoln County.

Here is how you can help when you find a stray pet:

  1. If the animal is friendly and responds to you,look for ID tags or a microchip tag on the animal’s collar and contact their parents and make arrangements to safely return the animal to its home!
  2. If you can’t approach or safely contain the animal,please call Animal Control and give them detailed information about the animal in need so they can assist:
    Ruidoso Animal Control: (575)-258-7365
    Ruidoso Downs Animal Control: (575)-378-4001

Lincoln County Area: (575)-648-2341

Capitan Animal Control: (575)-354-2154

If there is no contact information on the animal, you have a few options:

  1. Take the animal to the Humane Society of Lincoln County They will gather useful information about where and when the animal was found as well as check lost reports to see if the family is already searching for their pet. Feel free to call them daily to check the animal’s status!
  2. Bring the pet home and contact the Humane Society of Lincoln Countyright away by phone or email a found report ( Please provide a detailed account of the animal and the specific location you found it as well as valid contact information for you. Including a picture of the animal is also very helpful! When you get home, give the found animal a safe place away from children or other pets and offer them water and appropriate food if available. Oftentimes, animals will not eat when they are highly stressed, so don’t be alarmed if they refuse food or treats.
  3. Bring the animal to a nearby vet office or animal shelterto have them scan the animal for a microchip. If no chip is present, either take the animal directly to the Humane Society of Lincoln County Shelter or bring them home with you and contact HSLC immediately.

After the HSLC has been notified, you can network and help reunite the pet with their family:

  1. Put up flyers in the neighborhood where the animal was found. You can also put flyers up at nearby vet offices, shelter, pet food and supply stores, or any other nearby businesses with community bulletin boards.
  2. Post on social networking sites such as, Facebook, Twitter, or other community sites. Ask friends to share it in hopes of the message reaching the pet’s family.
  3. Run a “found” ad in the local newspaper and check the “lost” ads. Also check and post on websites such as Craigslist.

Please remember to follow up with the HSLC as well as the posts, flyers, and ads once the pet has been reunited with their family!

There are so many ways in which an animal can end up as a stray. We all need to do our best to practice uncompromised compassion when dealing with animals and our fellow community members. Please remember that animals can escape from even the most loving and responsible family!

For owner relinquish call the shelter 575-2579841