What Happens When a Lost Pet Arrives at Macon County Animal Control?

Learn about the stray pet procedure at MCAC.

If your pet is lost and makes their way to Macon County Animal Control, either via Animal Control pickup or a Good Samaritan, the following will provide information about the Animal Control procedure for stray animals.

When a stray animal makes it's way to MCAC, the animal is first scanned for a microchip and checked for any sort of ID tag.

  • If a chip is present, the number is looked up and an attempt is made to contact the owner via phone.
  • A letter is sent to the address on file so the owner is notified when and where their animal is impounded. Information found on ID or county/rabies tags are searched and the last known person/address is contacted.
  • The animal’s impound information is put into the computer system, including the animal’s sex, estimate of age and breed, and the location where the animal was found.
  • A picture of the animal is posted with this information and is shared on 24petconnect.com, a site that shows all animals at MCAC, adoptable and strays. By posting pictures of strays, this gives another way for the owner to find it, just in case their address and phone number have changed and shelter staff cannot reach them.
  • Often times, strays do not have a microchip; in this case the same steps are taken to get all information possible into the computer system in the hopes the owner will reach out to the shelter looking for their lost loved one.

By Macon County regulations, a stray animal must go through a stray holding period to give the current owner time to locate them.

  • During this stray hold, the animal is fed twice daily, has a bowl of water, and their own kennel which is cleaned regularly.
  • Strays are given a flea treatment.
  • Strays considered vulnerable are given preventative vaccines.
  • Animals needing medical attention are treated by the shelter vet.

Check the Shelter often, and in person, for your missing pet.

  • When someone reaches out to the shelter about a missing pet, they are encouraged to visit the shelter to see if their pet is currently impounded.
  • Owners work with front desk staff to fill out necessary paperwork, and get the animal is back home in no time.
  • By state statute, the animal must be current on the rabies vaccine, and be microchipped before they can return home.

Every attempt is made to get the animal back to their original owner, but in some cases this does not happen.

  • If an animal is not reclaimed within the stray hold time frame, the animal is evaluated and determined if they are able to be put up for adoption.
  • While it does not happen often, MCAC is not a no-kill shelter and sometimes the animal must be humanely euthanized for various reasons including poor health/injury or aggression.
  • The shelter works with multiple rescues throughout the state and whenever possible, animals not deemed adoptable thru MCAC are transferred to these rescues.

If your pet is lost, contact the Macon County Animal Control and Care Center:


Schedule a visit to the shelter to search for your pet Monday through Friday, from noon to 5pm, and Saturday from noon to 4 pm.

2820 E. Parkway Drive

Decatur, IL 62526

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