Pet Resource Center

Lost a Pet?

Start your search with us and come to the shelter! Pets cannot be identified over the phone. If you've lost your furry friend, start your search with us. YWAC is the only facility in Knox County permitted to house stray animals and the most likely place to find your missing feline or canine.


Follow these steps for a successful search:

  • Visit the Pet Resource Center department located at our main facility, 3201 Division Street, (865) 215-6665. We are open seven days a week from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Check back with us no less than every other day. The state of Tennessee requires strays to be held for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • Keep checking for a period of two weeks to a month, and don’t give up. Pets can show up long after their owners stop looking.
  • Contact local vets and the UT College of Veterinary Medicine to see if your pet has been taken there.
  • Call surrounding county shelters to see if your pet has been taken there.
  • Fees apply to reclaim your pet at the shelter and are mandated by law.

Fees apply to reclaim your pet at the shelter and are mandated by law.

Found a Stray?

Call us! If you find a stray animal in Knoxville or Knox County, call our Pet Resource Center directly at (865) 215-6655. Even if you hope to keep the pet, you are required by law to post it with us for 10 days. If the animal is not claimed during that 10-day period, you may re-home it.

If you have no plans to keep the pet, please bring it to our main facility, 3201 Division Street, (865) 215-6665. We are open seven days a week from noon to 6 pm.


Other steps to take:

  • Have the pet scanned for a microchip at the nearest vet clinic or animal shelter.
  • Check the local newspapers and Craigslist. You can create “found” posts in the newspaper and Craigslist, too.
  • Post fliers in the area where the pet was found at locations such as grocery stores, vet clinics and pet stores.
  • If the pet has a department of health rabies tag and no other identifiable ID, call (865) 215-6681.

Orphaned Kittens

If you find newborn baby kittens, please resist the urge to pick them up and bring them in, unless they’re in immediate danger (rising flood waters, etc.). It is likely that they have not truly been abandoned, and they have a better chance of survival if they remain with their mother. And unfortunately, our shelter does not have the resources to save every kitten that comes through our doors.

Mama cats have to leave their babies from time to time to search for food for themselves, relieve themselves, or just take a break and have some quiet time. They may be gone up to 8 hours, but are usually not far. If you only see one or two kittens, it’s possible the mama cat is in the process of moving her kittens.

If they look “safe” leave them alone, and allow the mom to care for them. She knows how to do this better than any humans do. Monitor the area, checking every few hours. Approach quietly and cautiously. If mama is near, and she feels that you are a threat to her babies, she will move them. Usually the first place she chose for them is the safest one for her little ones. If you handle them, or make a pest of yourself, she’ll be forced to move them to another location that may not be quite as safe.

If mama cat doesn’t come back, or the kittens are in imminent danger, you can care for them on your own with some help from our friends at Maddie’s Fund who made these awesome videos to guide you.

Looking for your Lost Pet?

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