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Reclaiming Your Pet

Reuniting pets with their people is a top priority at HSOV. Make sure you have everything you need to reclaim your pet if you see an animal that might be yours posted on our "strays" postings, If you’re visiting the shelter to look for your lost pet, or when an HSOV staff member calls to let you know we have your pet at the shelter. Please keep in mind, we give strays a name- so your pet may be listed under the shelter's given name.

When To Reclaim Your Pet

You can visit Humane Society of the Ohio Valley to reclaim your pet during regular business hours

It’s important to reclaim your pet as soon as possible. Every animal has a stray hold period at the shelter. You may unintentionally relinquish ownership of your pet if not reclaimed by the hold date.


Stray Hold Period

  • If your pet has a collar with your contact ID, county tags, or a microchip - 14 days from the date of impound.*

  • If your pet doesn’t have any identification - 3 days from the date of impound.*

*The standard period of time HSOV will hold a stray animal for their owners is set by Ohio Revised Code 951.11. In 2013, we committed to saving lives (not euthanizing), and short stray holds help that continue.  Keeping ID on your pet ensures a quick, safe return to owner.  Please call or come in if you discover we have your pet- even if it is passed the 3 days.

What You Need to Reclaim Your Pet

There are important steps to follow to establish ownership, ensuring that pets are reunited with their rightful owners.

1. Photo ID

Staff need to establish who you are before reuniting you with your pet. Bring a driver’s license, government issued ID, school ID card, or a comparable form of identification.

2. Proof of Ownership 

Proof of ownership is required for redemption. Proof of ownership may be established by providing at least one of the following types of documentation:

  • Proof of pet licensing with HSOV or other municipal authority

  • Microchip information

  • Rabies vaccination certificate

  • Veterinarian records

  • Identification of a unique marking or characteristic

If none of the above items are available, HSOV may accept clear photographs that distinguish the animal from other animals with similar characteristics. This option may be considered as a last resort, and may not be sufficient if the pictures do not clearly match the pet.

3. Current Pet License
If your pet is not currently licensed, you will need to license it when you reclaim. All dogs are required by law to leave with a dog tag which is $16.75
After January, there is a penalty for not having tags which is $16, plus the cost of the tag.  This money does not go to the shelter, but to the county.

4. Equipment

Make sure you bring a collar and leash for dogs, and a carrier for cats, if applicable. These items may also be available for purchase at HSOV.

5. Impound and Board Fees

The following fees are provided as an estimate.​

  • Board fees are not charged if your pet is picked up the same day as they are impounded.


  • First offense : 40.00

  • Second offense: 50.00

  • Third offense: 60.00

  • Fourth offense: 70.00

  • Board fees are $7 per day.


  • Board fees are $10 per day. 

For any questions about reclaiming your pet, please call 740-373-5959.

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