Bring in a Stray Cat or Dog

DCHS I Found a StrayDoor County Humane Society is licensed and equipped to accept stray cats and dogs. We are unable to accept any other domestic animals or wildlife. Scroll down for information on what to do if you find a stray, sick, injured, or abandoned animal of any other kind.

I Found a Stray Cat or Dog – What Should I Do?

  • Door County Humane Society accepts stray animals only found within Door County. If you find an animal outside Door County, please take it to the local shelter. Animals found in Kewaunee or Brown counties should be taken to Bay Area Humane Society.
  • Remember to use caution before approaching any stray animal. Even a seemingly friendly animal can become aggressive or skittish if startled or grabbed. Move slowly and speak quietly when approaching the animal.
  • Do NOT chase the animal. You don’t want to drive the animal further from its home.
  • If you are able, check the animal for any identification, e.g. collar, city license, rabies tag, or I.D. tag. If owner information is available, consider calling the owner directly.
  • If the animal is safe to transport, you may bring it to DCHS between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday. If possible, please call in advance to notify staff you will be bring in a stray.
    • Please ring the doorbell if the shelter’s front door is locked. Between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. no staff is available to accept the animal.
  • You must be 18 years or older to bring in a stray. If you are under 18, ask your parent or other responsible adult to help.
  • You will be asked to provide your contact information and information about where you found the animal.
  • If the animal is not safe to transport or you are unable to transport it for any other reason, please call your local police department or town constable. DCHS is unable to pick up or transport stray or injured animals. The phone number for the Sturgeon Bay police department is 920-746-2450.
  • If you plan to house the stray in order to find its owner yourself, please call DCHS to fill out a “Found Report.” Also, bring the animal to DCHS or a local veterinarian so it can be scanned for a microchip. If holding a stray in your home, you must actively search for the owner by reporting the animal, hanging found posters in the neighborhood, calling WDOR, and placing ads on social media.

What Happens to the Stray I Brought to DCHS?

Bring a Stray Animal into the Door County Humane SocietyBy state law, strays must be held for four (4) days so that the owner has the opportunity to locate and reclaim their pet. On the fifth (5) day DCHS becomes the legal owner of the animal. At that time, health and behavior evaluations are performed. The animal will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, blood tested, and microchipped before being placed for adoption. There is no set timeframe for when an animal will be available for adoption, although. DCHS strives to make the time between when the animal’s stray hold is up and when it is adoptable as short as possible.

What Should I Do if I Find a Different Domestic Animal? (e.g. rabbit, ferret) or Domestic Bird?

If you find a stray domestic animal that is not a cat or dog, or if you find a domestic bird, call DCHS and we will direct you to further resources. Our phone number is 920-746-1111.

What Should I Do if I Find Sick, Injured or Abandoned Wildlife?

Use caution when around wildlife of any kind! If possible, assess whether the animal is actually sick or injured (as opposed to eating, resting, hunting or using a defense mechanism). Wildlife youngsters are often left on their own while their parents are away searching for food. If the baby is hidden and not in immediate danger, leave it undisturbed so the parents may return to it.

If you have determined that the animal is injured, sick, or abandoned:

  • Contact your local police department. The Sturgeon Bay police number is 920-746-2450.
  • If you are in Northern Door County contact Mark Richards at 920-421-0828.
  • Contact Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay. The Animal Care number is 920-391-3685.

Is it Illegal to Possess Wildlife Without a Permit?

To report a case of abuse or neglect, please call your local police department. DCHS has no law enforcement authority, so we cannot investigate nor remove animals from a problem situation.