Boise is quite possibly the most dog-friendly city in the country, but often that love for pets can lead to an abundance of strays — sometimes because of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and occasionally due to one-off events like fireworks. Preparation is key, so here’s what you need to know if you find a stray animal.
Assess the Situation
First make sure you’re able to safely approach the animal — like humans stuck in traffic on Eagle Road, some animals may become aggressive when confronted. If the animal has no tags with contact information, the best thing to do is to call Animal Care & Control — they can give you specific directions.
💡 An important note: You must turn in strays to the humane society in the area where you found it — this ensures it has the best chance of returning home if it belongs to someone. Here are the main ones:
- Idaho Humane Society serves the following cities: Boise, Meridian, Kuna, Eagle, Cats from Garden City, Star, and the unincorporated areas of Ada County. IHS will hold a stray dog for five days to try to locate the owner — after that, the animal becomes the shelter’s property. There is no holding period for cats due to the high volume they receive, so they immediately become property of the humane society.
- Garden City Animal Control and Shelter: For stray dogs and any other found animals found in Garden City (except for cats, those must go to the Idaho Humane Society).
- Strays found in Canyon County must be taken to the West Valley Humane Society.
- Extra kibbles: We spoke to the director of the West Valley Humane Society about the challenges of being a no-kill shelter. [City Cast Boise 🎧]
Kittens are adorable but they’re unable to care for themselves in the wild, so check this flowchart for what to do if you find kittens.
Keeping the Animal
The first thing to know is that as soon as you take in a found creature you are responsible for its wellbeing and any potential incidents involving it.
Second, if you want to legally adopt it, you must first turn in a stray to a humane society in the county where you found it so it can be properly processed for adoption — in Boise it is against the law to take in a stray without first notifying the humane society.