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  I found a pet and cannot locate the owner. What do I do? What if I want to keep the pet?

Although an animal you find along the highway or in the street may turn out to be un-owned, unwanted or unclaimed, the person finding the stray dog or cat does not automatically become the owner or keeper until that person has satisfied state and/or local requirements [California Penal Code 485]. The animal is not "owned" by the finder until the holding period for strays as specified by laws has expired (4 to 6 business days, not including the day of impoundment [California Food and Agricultural Code 31108]) and the finder has made an attempt to reunite the animal with the original pet owner.

Good Samaritans who have never lost a cherished companion animal may conclude that the owner of the found dog or cat callously abandoned the pet or, at the very least, neglected to keep the pet safely confined at home. But accidents can happen to anyone. The frantic owner could be looking everywhere for their beloved pet.

Please understand the limitations of animal services and shelter. Once you have taken the initiative, time and trouble to rescue a stray animal, you might be surprised to find that the rest of the pet care community might not necessarily rush forward to do what you see as its part. For instance, you can take a badly injured stray dog to animal control and find out that the agency is unable to provide expensive surgery to treat the dog's injuries. In those cases, shelters euthanize the animals to relieve them from their suffering. A cat with relatively minor injuries can be kept for only the mandated stray holding period before being euthanized.

Before you take an injured animal to a private veterinary hospital for treatment, be willing to assume financial responsibility for the animal before treatment begins. Good care is not cheap, and many veterinarians have many Good Samaritans in their waiting rooms every year. Anyone who is committed to trying to save injured stray animals should discuss these issues in advance with the veterinarian.

If you're uncertain about whether or not to help an animal you see along the roadside, here's a final word of advice: First, think of what you would want the finder of your animal to do if he happened to find your pet injured without a collar.

If you've found a stray animal, chances are someone's beloved pet has gone missing. People who have lost their pets visit the local shelter every day. Taking the found pet to the shelter may be the best thing you can do for it. If it is there, the owners can reclaim it. If not, you can then adopt the pet after the mandatory hold period.

If you cannot locate the pet's owner, you may bring it to the spcaLA Hawthorne shelter or call Culver City Non-Emergency Police Line at 310-837-1221 to have the pet picked up. All Culver City animals should be taken to the contracted shelter at the spcaLA Hawthorne shelter.

Please note that by law, if you find a stray animal, you must give notice to the Culver City Animal Services within 4 hours of finding the animal [Los Angeles County Code 10.36.010].


  I found an injured animal. What do I do?

If you've found an injured animal, please call the Culver City Non-Emergency Police Line at 310-837-1221. If the Culver City Animal Services Officer is in the field or on-duty, the call will be immediately dispatched. If the Culver City Animal Services Officer is off-duty, the call will be redirected to the Los Angeles County Animal Control. Please note that you cannot help an animal if you become injured in the process. Should you succeed in getting close enough to capture an injured animal, you stand a good chance of being scratched or bitten. Make sure you report precisely where the animal is by using road names, mile markers or landmarks. Please provide your phone number in case further details or description is needed. If the animal is moving, please report the direction the animal is going or the next street or landmark the animal is heading toward. If possible, stay at the scene to keep an eye on the animal until the Culver City Animal Services Officer arrives.


  I found a deceased animal. What do I do?

If you've found a deceased animal, please call the Culver City Non-Emergency Police Line at 310-837-1221. Make sure you report precisely where the deceased animal is by using road names, mile markers or landmarks. Please provide your phone number in case further details or description is needed. Please note that Culver City Animal Services will impound deceased domestic animals and wildlife, but not vermin or pest animals such as rats and mice. You can remove the carcass of small vermin and pest animals, except bats, as you would clean up after your pet. Use two plastic bags, place your hand in the bags like a glove, pick up the carcass with the bags, invert the bags or turn the bags inside out, tie a knot at the end of the bags, and dispose of the carcass in a trash container with a secure lid.


  I found a deceased bat. What do I do?

If you find a deceased bat, do NOT handle or remove the bat [California Health and Safety Code 121600]. Immediately call the Culver City Non-Emergency Police Line at 310-837-1221. Advise the dispatcher that you have found a deceased bat and need the Culver City Animal Services Officer to pick it up.


  I lost my pet. What do I do?

Visit the spcaLA Hawthorne shelter at 310-676-1149 or call the Culver City Animal Services office at 310-253-6143. If you have a current picture of your animal or a lost animal flyer, please e-mail a copy to or you can drop it off at the Culver City Police Department at 4040 Duquesne Avenue, Culver City. Remember to address your picture or flyer to the Culver City Animal Services for prompt delivery. If an animal fitting the description of your animal was picked up and impounded, you will be advised. Please be mindful that it is very difficult to identify mixed breed animals due to discrepancies and variations in descriptions. The best way to ensure the safe return of your lost animal is to have a microchip implanted and a city pet license on the animal. This is also a requirement for animals residing in Culver City. In most cases, animals wearing tags or having microchips can be returned to the owner immediately instead of being transferred to the spcaLA Hawthorne shelter. If no one is home, the officer will leave a note on the door advising that the animal was picked up. If the officer is unable to access the pet tag information immediately and cannot leave a note, the owner will be notified by telephone as soon as the information is obtained at spcaLA Hawthorne.

Please remember that animals will sometimes lose their tags or have them removed by someone. Even if your animal leaves home wearing a collar and tags, there is always a chance the collar may not be on when the animal is picked up. Microchipping ensures that your animal has identification and your contact information even if the collar or tag is missing.

Enclosed is the contact information for the nearby shelters:
Location: South Bay (for Culver City animals) [Not the Long Beach Location]
spcaLA Hawthorne South Bay Pet Adoption Center
12910 Yukon Avenue
Hawthorne, CA 90250
(310) 676-1149
Wednesday to Sunday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Closed Mondays Closed Tuesdays
County of Los Angeles Animal Care and Control Carson Shelter
216 West Victoria Street
Gardena, CA 90248
(310) 523-9566
Monday to Thursday: 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Closed Holidays
Los Angeles Animal Services (Los Angeles City)
West Los Angeles Shelter
11361 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
888-4LAPET1 or 888-452-7381
Closed Mondays
Tuesday to Saturday: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Besides searching the usual favorite places of your lost animal, you may want to do the following:

  1. Notify Culver City Animal Services at 310-253-6143 and submit a copy of the current lost animal's picture or lost animal flyer. If the last known location for the lost animal is near the border of Culver City and Los Angeles, notify the City of Los Angeles Animal Control West Los Angeles Shelter at 1-888-452-7381 and Los Angeles County Animal Control Carson Shelter at 310-523-9566.

  2. Contact spcaLA Hawthorne shelter at 310-676-1149 and visit the shelter at 12910 Yukon Avenue, Hawthorne, CA 90250. You can also check pictures of recently impounded animals at

  3. If your lost pet is microchipped, contact the corresponding microchip provider and ensure that your contact information is up-to-date. If the microchip number is a 9 to 10 character series of numbers, the likely microchip service provider is AVID at 1-800-336-2843. If the microchip number is a 10 character combination of letters and numbers or a 15 character series of numbers, the possible microchip service provider is HomeAgain at 1-888-466-3242. If the microchip number is a 15 character series of numbers, the likely microchip service provider is ResQ at 1-800-633-3796. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of the microchip service providers. Please check your documentation that was provided by the microchip company. You can also check which microchip service provider is associated to your pet's microchip number at

  4. If you have a lost animal flyer, you may want to e-mail, fax, and/or post the flyers at the local veterinary hospitals, animal boarding businesses, pet shops and animal grooming shops.

    • For the flyer, include a current picture of the animal, the animal's general description, and your telephone number.

    • Make sure the text is large enough so that the flyer can be read at a distance.

    • DO NOT include your address or your full name, in order to avoid becoming an unwitting victim of fraudulent activity.

    • It's also important to include any of the animal's specific identifying characteristics.

    • Please note that it is a violation to post flyers on telephone poles and street signs.

  5. Hire a service to help locate your animal. You can locate these service providers in the local phone book or online.


  Where do the animals picked up in Culver City go?

Culver City Animal Services provides the field services and has contracted with the spcaLA Hawthorne shelter for sheltering services. All animals impounded will be transported to spcaLA Hawthorne. If the animal is injured, the animal will be transported immediately to an emergency veterinary hospital. Once in stable condition, the animal will be transported to spcaLA Hawthorne. For extremely young domestic animals, strong effort is made to locate rescuers who can foster and care for the orphaned animals. For wildlife, strong effort is made to locate rehabilitators who can legally rehabilitate and care for the wildlife. spcaLA Hawthorne shelter is located at the South Bay Pet Adoption Center on 12910 Yukon Avenue between El Segundo Avenue and West 135th Street in Hawthorne. You can reach the shelter at 310-676-1149.


  Please, go to the following links for more information:


Culver City encompasses approx. 5 square miles and is home to approx. 40,000 residents. It is just minutes from LAX, Marina del Rey and the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Downtown Los Angeles, making it ideal for residents, business, and visitors alike. For more information, click here for the official website for The City of Culver City.

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