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Reclaiming Lost Animals
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Reclaiming Your Lost Pet From The Porter County Animal Shelter

If you have determined that your lost pet is being housed at the Porter County Animal Shelter, you can reclaim your pet from the Shelter during normal business hours.  CLICK HERE for our hours.  Please read carefully ALL of the sections below before you come to the Shelter.

What You Will Need To Reclaim Your Pet
An owner of an animal impounded may reclaim the animal upon compliance with the following requirements:

  • Proof of ownership of the impounded animal;
  • Proof of identification, such as a driver’s license or state issued identification card;
  • Payment of the reclaim fee, payment of any necessary medical fees incurred during the animal’s impoundment, and any other fees incurred by the Porter County Animal Control, Porter County Sheriff’s Department, and/or Porter County Animal Shelter resulting from the animal’s impoundment;
  • Proof of current rabies vaccination.  If proof of vaccination is not available, a receipt showing pre-payment of scheduled rabies vaccination must be presented before the animal is released to the owner.  Proof that the scheduled vaccination was performed must be received at the Porter County Animal Shelter within two (2) business days after the animal's release or the animal will be subject to immediate impoundment.

Reclaim Fees
The animal reclaim fee is based upon the number of times you have had to reclaim your animal within a twelve month period, and whether it is spayed or neutered (altered).  The animal reclaim fees are as follows:

  • First Reclaim Fee: $50.00 (altered animal)/ $75.00 (intact animal)
  • Second Reclaim Fee: $75.00 (altered animal)/ $100.00 (intact animal)
  • Third and any subsequent Reclaim Fee: $100.00 (altered animal) / $125.00 (intact animal)

PLEASE NOTE:  It is your responsibility to provide proof that the animal you are reclaiming has been spayed or neutered.  If you are unable to provide proof, you will be required to pay the fee for intact animals.

Additional Reclaim Requirements
An animal that has been previously impounded and is now being reclaimed for the third or subsequent time within a twelve (12) month period is required to be:

  • Implanted with a microchip at the owner’s expense for the purpose of future identification and recovery; and
  • Spayed or neutered by a licensed veterinarian at the owner's expense prior to the Porter County Animal Shelter relinquishing the animal to the owner.  If owner is unable to pay the full costs associated with spaying or neutering the animal, the Porter County Animal Shelter Director may enter into a payment agreement with the owner, or the owner may sign over ownership rights to the Porter County Animal Shelter.

Denial Of Reclaim
Release of the impounded animal to its owner may be denied by the Porter County Animal Control and/or the Porter County Animal Shelter Director if it is determined the animal is vicious or dangerous, diseased, a danger to public health and safety of the citizens of Porter County or for any other good and sufficient reason at the discretion of Porter County Animal Control and/or the Porter County Animal Shelter Director.

In the event an animal is denied return to its owner by the Porter County Animal Control, the Shelter Director, or any other official having authority to impound animals, the owner and animal shall be subject to the following bond procedure:

  • The owner shall be given written notice of the decision to retain the animal and provided with a bond amount and initial hearing date. The hearing date shall be within thirty (30) days of receipt of notice.
  • To prevent disposition of the animal prior to the hearing date, and not later than ten (10) days after written notice of the animal’s retention, the owner must post a bond with the Porter County Clerk’s office.
  • The bond amount shall be sufficient to provide for the animal’s care and keeping for at least thirty (30) days, beginning on the date of first impoundment.
  • If a bond expires, and is not renewed within ten (10) days of expiration, or if the owner fails to post an initial bond, ownership of the animal shall be assigned to the Porter County Animal Shelter, and the animal may be disposed of in accord with Animal Shelter policies. 
  • Any animal subject to such bond may be euthanized if it has been determined by a licensed veterinarian to be suffering extreme pain, or if it is jointly determined by the impounding official, attending veterinarian, and/or the supervisor of the facility at which the animal is impounded, that said animal cannot be reliably handled or cared for without significant risk to the safety and welfare of the custodians during the impoundment.
  • Once disposition of the animal is determined, any bond posted shall be release to the Porter County Animal Shelter to cover the costs for impoundment and care of said animal for the number of days the animal was in custody of the Porter County Animal Shelter.  Any unused portion of the bond shall be returned to the individual who posted the bond.